Meaning of catch in English:


Pronunciation /katʃ/

See synonyms for catch

Translate catch into Spanish

verbpast participle verb caught/kɔːt/

[with object]
  • 1Intercept and hold (something which has been thrown, propelled, or dropped)

    ‘she threw the bottle into the air and caught it again’
    • ‘He tossed both knives into the air and caught them before dropping into a crouch like his brother.’
    • ‘Every time there's even a semblance of running water, we put something under the faucet to catch the precious drops.’
    • ‘There were always pots across one wall of her sitting room to catch the drops.’
    • ‘He quickly dropped the knife and caught the blood in his palm before it could drip onto the coverlet.’
    • ‘Her tongue darted out faster than humanly possible, catching a drop on the tip.’
    • ‘Cover the ground with canvas drop cloths to catch the paint chips.’
    • ‘Spread newspaper everywhere to catch the drops and make sure your room is well-ventilated.’
    • ‘A childish glee overtook her, and she put out her tongue to catch the falling rain drops.’
    • ‘His head was tilted back, his hands splayed out as if to catch drops from a leaking firmament.’
    • ‘Two people went up each tree while the third person ran around below with the backpack, trying to catch the fruit they dropped down.’
    • ‘She spins around like a little girl with her tongue sticking out to catch the drops.’
    • ‘Brooke hurried over, and made it in time to slip a paper towel under his nose to catch the first few drops of blood.’
    • ‘At Christmas, there is a store that gives away the unsold Christmas trees to anyone who can catch one when thrown in the air by the owner.’
    • ‘She snatched up her shirt and boombox, rubbing the back of her hand over her forehead, catching the sweat drops before they fell.’
    • ‘Cyrus had to react quickly with the napkin to catch the drop of spaghetti sauce that had fallen from his lips.’
    • ‘Waking up from its slumber in cool waters, it sluggishly walks around, often opening its mouth to catch the banana thrown by the woman walking along with her.’
    • ‘It's a conditioned reflex learnt in the pubs of south Wales, where he'd catch beer bottles thrown at him by angry boyfriends and disarm them with a grin and a glug.’
    • ‘The guard dropped his rifle to catch the incoming equipment.’
    • ‘Try as Emilion might, he could not teach me to throw and catch the pesky things properly.’
    • ‘He jumped up, just barely catching the baseball thrown by his father.’
    seize, grab, snatch, grab hold of, seize hold of, take hold of, lay hands on, lay one's hands on, get one's hands on, grasp, grip, clutch, clench, fasten on, pluck, hold, hang on to
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Intercept the fall of (someone)
      ‘he fell forwards and Linda caught him’
      • ‘As she pitched forward, about to fall, someone caught her by her upper arms.’
      • ‘How many times do you have to fall before someone catches you and stays around?’
      • ‘He rushed forward towards the princess and caught her as she fell from her horse.’
      • ‘She fell, but he caught her in his arms, and laid her gently on the floor.’
      • ‘The two stumbled and Joanne would have fallen but Mark caught her in mid-fall.’
      • ‘A wave of dizziness washed over her as she stood up, she was about to fall but strong arms caught her before she did.’
      • ‘William caught her before she fell, holding her in the fold of his left arm.’
      • ‘Luckily, someone from behind caught her before she fell back onto the parking lot floor.’
      • ‘Her knees buckled under her and I caught her before she fell face down.’
      • ‘Matt grabbed her quickly, catching her before she fell off the bed.’
      • ‘He catches me before I fall and then sends me past him, towards my closet.’
      • ‘Her legs grow weak underneath her and she almost falls but he catches her.’
      • ‘He dismounted just in time to catch her as she fell, and as a blanket was drawn about her, she instantaneously fell into a deep sleep.’
      • ‘Andrew yelled as he ran to catch her before she fell to the deck.’
      • ‘The bouncer steps toward her, his arms ready to catch her should she fall.’
      • ‘Thankfully, Sam is around almost all the time, keeping an eye on me, ready to catch me when I fall.’
      • ‘He lowered himself while Jason stood just below him to catch him if he fell.’
      • ‘He was too far away to catch her before she fell, her head hitting the cement.’
      • ‘Her first reaction was to run over there, and catch Jackie before she fell, but Jason beat her to it.’
      • ‘He caught her before she could hit the ground.’
      seize, grab, snatch, grab hold of, seize hold of, take hold of, lay hands on, lay one's hands on, get one's hands on, grasp, grip, clutch, clench, fasten on, pluck, hold, hang on to
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Seize or take hold of.
      ‘he caught hold of her arm as she tried to push past him’
      • ‘She caught hold of the boy's collar and dragged him, pushing him into his bed.’
      • ‘Jack caught hold of her arm and pulled her back to stand in front of him.’
      • ‘I thought my worst fears had come true when someone just caught hold of my hand.’
      • ‘I slipped, caught hold of the back of a chair, and sat down on the floor, heavily.’
      • ‘Leo caught hold of my arm and motioned to me that the coast was clear.’
      • ‘After that, it was a few moments before he caught hold of the younger boy's wrists and brought them up to pin them above Kael's head, bending down as he did so.’
      • ‘They caught hold of his uniform and tore at it, especially all the more Zinfer tried to pull away from their grasp.’
      • ‘As they swung back towards Evie's bar for the second time, she caught hold of it, and the boy released her.’
      • ‘John used this time to free himself from the hold and he caught hold of the man breaking his attacker's wrist.’
      • ‘When they would have parted at the top of the stairs, Sam caught hold of her hand, stopping her.’
      • ‘Halfway down, he caught hold of a branch and then scaled his way back to where his sentry post once was.’
      • ‘She stood up but he caught hold of her arm before she walked away.’
      • ‘He caught hold of her frantically fluttering hands and forced her to stay still and look at him.’
      • ‘He caught hold of the neck of the offending garment and ripped it clean to the hem.’
      • ‘As we drove past, he caught hold of her hair and began pulling, even as her screams mingled with the loud music.’
      • ‘With a little smile, she made a little jump and caught hold of the end of the branch that was nearest the floor.’
      • ‘When she reached the very top of the pipe she reached out with her hand and caught hold of the edge.’
      • ‘The horse whinnied when Arnold caught hold of its bridle, rearing up on its hind legs.’
      • ‘At the top of your pull, quickly drop under and catch the bar with your arms extended overhead.’
      • ‘She swung it at Shouma's face, but he caught her hand and threw it back at her.’
      • ‘The first three times I permitted it, but on the fourth I reached down and caught his hand.’
      • ‘But, he caught her arm and reached in his drawer in his nightstand and pulled out a syringe.’
      • ‘He reached up and caught my chin gently with his hand, turning me to face him.’
      • ‘As Mary led him to where her SUV was parked, he reached out and caught her hand in his.’
      • ‘I was about to turn and walk back to the pack when Mac reached out and caught my arm.’
      • ‘She reached over and caught his hand in hers, rubbing a thumb over the back of his palm.’
      • ‘You step back and Michael reaches out, catching the hem of your t-shirt in his hand.’
      • ‘I should have let her go like that, but something beyond me made me reach out and catch her arm.’
      seize, grab, snatch, grab hold of, seize hold of, take hold of, lay hands on, lay one's hands on, get one's hands on, grasp, grip, clutch, clench, fasten on, pluck, hold, hang on to
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3catch atno object Grasp or try to grasp.
      ‘his hands caught at her arms as she tried to turn away’
      • ‘Abby caught at his arm, and he started to push her away, then stopped himself.’
      • ‘As he made to move off in search of new bandages, she weakly caught at his arm.’
      • ‘Automatically, his own hands rose to catch at his master's arm.’
      • ‘She hurried up the steps behind him and caught at his sleeve to get his attention.’
      • ‘Gabriel caught at her hand as she wrenched open the door.’
      grasp, clutch, hold, clasp, grasp hold of, lay hold of, take hold of, latch on to, grab, seize, clench, cling to, catch, catch at, get one's hands on, pluck
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4Cricket Dismiss (a batsman) by catching the ball before it touches the ground.
      ‘I was caught on the square-leg boundary for 96’
      • ‘Four of their batsmen were caught from blazing shots by fielders stationed on the boundary rope.’
      • ‘He lands them at around three quarters length, and then pitches the odd one up, seaming it away, and catching the batsmen, rooted to the crease, napping.’
      • ‘Australia bowler Brett Lee dives to catch England batsman Andrew Strauss for 37.’
      • ‘Little wonder then most of the batsmen are being caught behind the wicket.’
      • ‘He was caught alertly by Gatting at short leg.’
  • 2Capture (a person or animal that tries or would try to escape)

    ‘we hadn't caught a single rabbit’
    • ‘The Welsh terrier is a rough-coated animal with droopy ears, originally bred in Wales to catch rats, mice and other vermin.’
    • ‘It always seemed to me that it was pretty rare for the hunt actually to catch a fox.’
    • ‘Traps of this kind, which are designed to catch foxes and rabbits, have been outlawed since 1954 when the Pest Act came into force.’
    • ‘They feed cattle, dogs and cats because those animals are useful in daily life - cattle work in the fields, dogs protect the home and cats catch mice.’
    • ‘When the rabbit season comes, we hunt and catch a few rabbits.’
    • ‘We never made any secret of the fact that we used dogs to catch rabbits.’
    • ‘We arrived back at the Inn late that afternoon without having caught a single fish.’
    • ‘The soldiers said they caught several species of fish including carp and a large catfish.’
    • ‘So far it had caught four mice, which he was certain were all different ones, rather than being the same one returning each time.’
    • ‘If the fox is caught, it is killed extremely quickly by the lead hound, which has a weight of five times that of the fox.’
    • ‘Nowadays, with cats getting fed so well by their owners, they don't bother about catching mice for food, they use them as playthings, along with birds and other harmless creatures.’
    • ‘Very few city dwellers are willing to go to the trouble of catching a wild cat, which is a dangerous exercise anyway.’
    • ‘The easiest time of the year to catch rabbit is winter.’
    • ‘Anybody can get lucky and catch a single fish that's worth a prize.’
    • ‘Government workers tried to catch the creature by laying cages and shooting it with tranquilliser darts, but they failed.’
    • ‘The hunt, which was out for about four hours, did not catch a fox.’
    • ‘If you catch them you should throw them back in, or at very least agree not to take the three points.’
    • ‘The culprit was quickly caught and thrown into a maximum security holding cell.’
    • ‘‘No they are catching them and throwing them back into the water,’ I explained.’
    • ‘It was the fourth largest rainbow trout caught at the venue since 1979.’
    capture, seize
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Succeed in reaching a person who is ahead of one.
      ‘He says the people of Poland must work hard because they have a struggle ahead to catch the other countries of the West.’
      • ‘You don't want them looking at the table and thinking: Chelsea are too far ahead for us to catch them.’
      • ‘However, once he got to third, Harvey and Templeman were just too far ahead for Westbrook to catch them.’
      • ‘He was unable to catch the Briton ahead of him.’
      • ‘Could I run out to the fields and tell the boys fast enough for them to catch Hector before he reached town?’
      • ‘Nearing Poer Head, Conor and Denise Phelan in Endeavour managed to catch them but could not pass clear ahead.’
      • ‘The winner, ridden by Chris McCarron, caught the Irish horse in the run in and came out in front.’
      • ‘Lavan chases after Yaakov and upon catching him accuses Yaakov of stealing his Terafim.’
      • ‘I headed to the Myers house; I wasn't fast enough to catch Theo before he headed inside so I knocked on the door.’
      • ‘He caught them with little effort, looked at them, and then smiled wide showing plenty of teeth.’
      • ‘Her hopes of a medal were effectively dashed when she made slight contact with a barrier and used her final efforts trying to catch the bronze-medal group.’
      • ‘There was almost an element of teasing the pursuing Gary Smith, for the centre-half came close to catching the fleet-footed striker.’
      draw level
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2be caught inUnexpectedly find oneself in (an unwelcome situation)
      ‘my sister was caught in a thunderstorm’
      • ‘Speaking yesterday, Mr Ferguson said the law needed to be changed before anyone else was caught in the same situation.’
      • ‘But there was always the danger that he would be caught in situations he could not easily explain.’
      • ‘Would taxpayers have relief when faced with the situation of being caught in circumstances beyond their control?’
      • ‘You do not want to be caught in a situation where you don't have enough room on the truck for everything you want to take with you.’
      • ‘If it were a fair world, the latter type would never be caught in a situation where things go horribly wrong.’
      • ‘You should never be caught in a situation where junk food is your only option.’
      • ‘So, the president really seems to be caught in a Catch 22 here and it's largely of his own making.’
      • ‘I'm finally free of the round of writing and commissioning I've been caught in for the last fortnight.’
      • ‘My cheeks prickled with heat at the embarrassing circumstances we were caught in.’
      • ‘I don't want us to be caught in that and by the looks of it I'd say we could be in for some snow.’
      • ‘They were catching fewer and fewer fish, and often they were caught in storms at sea.’
      • ‘In his hands, Javier develops into a sympathetic character who is caught in the middle of an impossible situation.’
      • ‘But as we were riding through a desert, to make things even more challenging, we were caught in a sandstorm.’
      • ‘We'd later learned they were caught in the traffic jam on the return trip.’
      • ‘But the trio were caught in heavy swells near Mayor Island late on Sunday night on the last leg of their return.’
      • ‘If it takes five hours in the process, with a resulting stiff do which makes you look like you were caught in a downpour, so what?’
      • ‘The Chinese migrants drowned in February when they were caught in fast-rising tides on the sands of Morecambe Bay.’
      • ‘My last day there, we were caught in the middle of some ugliness on that bridge.’
      • ‘An hour later we were caught in a terrific thunder storm - lightning, torrential rain, the works.’
      • ‘The spectators quickly made an exit, not wishing to be caught in crossfire.’
      • ‘A group of young, wealthy people are out for a cruise on a pleasure yacht when they are caught unexpectedly in a major storm.’
    3. 2.3Surprise (someone) in an incriminating situation or in the act of doing something wrong.
      ‘he was caught with bomb-making equipment in his home’
      • ‘To their surprise they caught him with a soldier on Hampstead Heath.’
      • ‘Do not be taken by surprise if you are caught for speeding or riding without helmets this week.’
      • ‘Funnily enough, I was almost caught in a compromising situation earlier by one of the engineers.’
      • ‘But boy were we wrong when we caught him last night in a hot new nightclub in town getting down and dirty.’
      • ‘He repressed an urge to call for help, realizing how it would look if anyone caught him in this situation.’
      • ‘She was caught by our photographer dropping bags of bread for the birds near the town bridge.’
      • ‘For the second week in a row a top Irish jockey was caught dropping his hands on a winning placed horse.’
      • ‘Muscat was once caught naughtily propelling a clump of mud in the direction of an opponent stepping up to take a penalty.’
      • ‘Unless we catch them throwing a bottle or dropping litter all we can do is ask them to leave.’
      • ‘The individual was sentenced to six years in jail in July 2003 after being caught with a haul of heroin.’
      • ‘An under-age driver caught at the wheel of a car has been warned that he could be locked up if he drives again within a year.’
      • ‘In August 2001 he was caught at the wheel of his car while more than three times over the legal limit.’
      • ‘The fact is that it is ineffective in cases of proven crime and criminals who have been caught red-handed.’
      • ‘He spends all of his waking hours hatching schemes to catch the thief red-handed.’
      • ‘Police must be on top at all times and not caught napping when criminals strike.’
      • ‘But the exercise continues as the police do not want to be caught napping.’
      • ‘My last stepfather, upon catching me acting out the putrid stories, declared me crazy.’
      • ‘Flushing a bit upon catching herself staring at him, Meira lowered her head quickly so as not to be noticed.’
      • ‘But Frank returns unexpectedly and catches the two together in a confrontation that will change everyone's lives.’
      • ‘But as Alex began to unbutton his pants, she quickly turned her head, afraid he would catch her looking.’
      discover, detect, find, come across, come upon, stumble on, chance on, light on, bring to light, turn up, expose, find out, unmask
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4Come upon (someone) unexpectedly.
      ‘unexpected snow caught us by surprise’
      • ‘The unexpected attack caught him off guard and he landed on the porch with a thud.’
      • ‘The bike was powerful - far more so than he had expected - and the unexpected force caught him off guard.’
      • ‘Timms' move was so sudden, so unexpected, that it caught the woman completely by surprise.’
      • ‘I am afraid if we wait any longer, the fall rains will catch us.’
      • ‘By the end of the day though I was receiving profuse apologies from my accuser talking about pressures of work and being caught at a bad moment.’
      • ‘The cleric thinking he had done all he could do, was then caught off guard.’
      • ‘He is again caught by surprise and the two topple over.’
      • ‘US military and civilian leaders were again caught by surprise, and another costly price was paid in American casualties.’
      • ‘Kenny draws blood from him but is then caught off guard.’
      • ‘Intelligence authorities resolved that the United States should never again be caught unprepared.’
      • ‘He stood staring at her, almost as though her entrance had caught him by surprise.’
      • ‘There is little doubt that Stephen was caught by surprise.’
      • ‘If he caught you at the wrong time, he could talk your ear off.’
      • ‘Once she was right behind him she jumped on his back and caught him completely by surprise.’
      • ‘The situation had caught her so off guard that she had no idea how to approach it.’
      • ‘We've all been so worried about peak oil, it is not surprising we were caught unawares.’
      • ‘An unseasonably early and severe storm caught several climbers by surprise in the Sierra Nevada.’
      • ‘When the bad weather hit I was caught completely by surprise.’
      • ‘The theatrical techniques adopted by the troupe caught the audience by surprise.’
      • ‘On Monday an early morning call from our ace reporter Adam Nichols caught him by surprise.’
  • 3no object, with adverbial of place (of an object) accidentally become entangled or trapped in something.

    ‘a button caught in her hair’
    • ‘The hem of her pants caught under her shoes and she toppled toward, taking the boy with her.’
    • ‘Then the toe of your shoe catches in a crack in the sidewalk and you stumble forward, but quickly regain your balance, trying to keep you dignity intact.’
    • ‘‘I'm sorry,’ she said, coming so hastily to her feet her heel caught in her skirt and she lurched forward.’
    • ‘Her dress caught under her chair.’
    • ‘Just then his pants caught on a nail that was sticking out from the roof, and the nail stopped his fall.’
    entangle, snarl, catch, entwine, intertwine, intertwist, twist, ravel, knot, enmesh, coil, mat, jumble, muddle
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1with object and adverbial of place Have (a part of one's body or clothing) become entangled or trapped in something.
      ‘she caught her foot in the bedspread’
      • ‘companies face increased risks of being caught in a downward spiral’
      • ‘She chased him through the security gates and nearly caught her flowing skirt in the elevator.’
      • ‘I once caught a scarf in a lift door as it closed and only just managed to heave it free and save myself from a gruesome end.’
      • ‘Boys, nay men, need to remember to wipe the toothpaste from the corners of their mouth, the crumbs from their beards and not to catch their shirts in their flies.’
      • ‘Danny had just caught his shirt and a bit of the skin underneath on some barbed wire.’
      • ‘I slipped the camera under first, but still managed to catch my shirt on the lock above.’
      • ‘She got up, careful not to catch the lab coat that Kate had lent her on the chair.’
      • ‘I don't think anyone would start a dive in such a condition, but catching your suit on a sharp piece of wreckage is not uncommon.’
      • ‘I climbed out of the carriage after Amari, who was carefully making sure she didn't catch her dress on the carriage door.’
      • ‘She shifted her legs, being careful not to catch her trousers on the seat edge and sniffed the air delicately.’
      • ‘He caught his right foot in a drain, his knee shredded, never to be the same.’
      • ‘Although she was totally at ease with her various facial attachments, I worried constantly about her catching something upon a pin or ring or stud.’
      • ‘On New Year's Eve, a woman caught her hair in an escalator.’
      • ‘He backed away, catching his long hair in the bush behind him as he did so.’
      • ‘Stumbling out, Steven catches his watch in a woman's hair.’
      become trapped, become stuck, stick, become wedged, become entangled, become snarled up, become snagged, snag
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2with object and adverbial of place Fix or fasten in place.
      ‘her hair was caught up in a bright scarf’
      • ‘I raise my hand to smooth my hair back, catch some of it over my ear, but when I carry my hand near my hair it crackles and dances away in the dry wind.’
      • ‘Her hair was caught back in a great net of silver, also dotted with diamonds.’
      fasten, do up, hook, strap, tie, secure, clasp, catch, clip
      View synonyms
  • 4Reach in time and board (a train, bus, or aircraft)

    ‘they caught the 12.15 from Oxford’
    • ‘It is not as if you can catch a bus or train, or hail a cab to go anywhere.’
    • ‘I alighted from the train at Huddersfield and caught a bus to New Mill.’
    • ‘Then I had to catch a bus, then a train, and walk quite a way to the house.’
    • ‘Mr North now has to catch a bus and a train to get to work which takes him two hours.’
    • ‘I only just catch my train, quickly jump on the first carriage, and bury myself in my morning paper.’
    • ‘Police also want to speak to three men who caught a train about 8.40 pm and were overheard talking about the incident.’
    • ‘The pair fled in a taxi to Hull, where they caught the first train to Manchester and later went to London where they were finally arrested.’
    • ‘One couple from Malton said they could catch the train from home and that the bus simply did not offer enough comfort.’
    • ‘Older people don't all have cars and must cross the road to catch the bus.’
    • ‘Back in London he caught a train from King's Cross to York.’
    • ‘Your mother and I caught a bus from the airport last time.’
    • ‘I slept another night and caught the train the next morning.’
    • ‘I caught the train and it was really nice to just sit back and read.’
    • ‘I caught the train to Slovenia with a local, who was happy to tell me a bit about the country and help me master a few language basics.’
    • ‘The next morning I caught a bus to east Leeds and walked about.’
    • ‘They stayed overnight in London and the next day caught another train to Brighton for their week-long honeymoon.’
    • ‘At the end of that week, Pip drops Herbert off to catch his ship to Cairo.’
    • ‘They were then taken to buy visas and had to reach Cancun to catch a flight to Cuba.’
    • ‘The group stayed on that boat for several hours, then unexpectedly disembarked and caught a later boat.’
    • ‘Passengers would be able to spend time in the city before booking in and catching a new secure rail service to their flight.’
    be in time for, reach in time, make, get to
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1Reach or be in a place in time to see (a person, performance, programme, etc.)
      ‘she was hurrying downstairs to catch the news’
      • ‘I don't usually watch a lot of local TV but happened to catch a programme last night about a farm with a herd of buffaloes.’
      • ‘I've just caught the end of a brief TV programme about Sonia Lo, co-founder of A Recipe for Peace.’
      • ‘I had caught the tail end of his performance - enough to give me but a small idea of the man.’
      • ‘We've arrived just in time to catch the end of Feast Week, a festival of which I still know very little.’
      • ‘It was 18 July, unseasonably hot in Beirut, and I got back from the vet's just in time to catch the end of the 12 o'clock news.’
      • ‘I was then just in time to catch the final episode of The Office.’
      • ‘Along the way several security lights were triggered one by one and the neighbours twitched their curtains aside to catch the end of the display.’
      • ‘I made it in time to catch the end of the women's three-metre springboard event.’
      • ‘It's open to all, so go along and catch the end of a festival that demonstrates a rare collegiate collaboration, all in the name of art.’
      • ‘Just this morning I caught the tail end of yet another appeal on behalf of a young child in desperate need of surgery abroad.’
      • ‘There was one of these in Seattle that I only caught the tail end of because I was working.’
      • ‘I wandered out of the foyer, just catching the start of the next interaction at the reception desk.’
      • ‘Fans of Chorley artist Tom Titherington can still catch his exhibition of his memories of the Second World War at the University of Liverpool.’
      • ‘I worked another 12 hour shift on Sunday, getting home in time to catch the tail end of the Oscars.’
      • ‘On the upside, I think I'll get to catch an episode of Sports Night.’
      • ‘Andy Warhol had got up early in his mother's old house on East 66th Street, Manhattan, to catch the match on the TV networks.’
      • ‘There is still time to catch an exhibition of beautiful and practical baskets and intriguing paper imprints at Brantwood's Severn Studio.’
      • ‘If you get a chance - like, you're at home during the day, or babysitting, or a student, or something - catch an episode.’
      • ‘And if you're lucky, you might just catch the end of the sales.’
      • ‘You can now stop following scores on the Internet after lunch and rushing home from work to catch the final session on TV.’
    2. 4.2North American informal Attend or watch (a performance)
      • ‘we'll get some burgers and catch a movie’
      • ‘We all decided to head down to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to catch a screening of the movie Homepage.’
      • ‘The center is also used for just getting off the streets or catching an afternoon movie on the big screen t.v. with surround sound.’
      • ‘Maybe catching a movie will help iron out stress between friends.’
      • ‘I plan to spend Saturday shopping, catching a movie or taking a run in the park.’
      • ‘So, to sum up and conclude, if you want the long version of a great story, go rent the first two movies, then catch the last one in theaters.’
      • ‘Friday Night I would pick them up and head to the Promenade, maybe for a quick bite at Islands or On The Border and then catch a movie.’
      • ‘I should run to the grocery store once I get my menus planned for next week and we're going to try and catch a movie.’
      • ‘They caught a late movie, and it was quite late before they made it back to Marin's apartment.’
      • ‘Well, we were thinking of catching the movie at six, but hanging out at the beach a bit before the movie.’
      • ‘‘Let's go catch a movie,’ Matt said as he tossed an apple in the air and caught it.’
      • ‘He had told me to meet him at six again and we would catch the movie at 6:30.’
      • ‘We could catch a movie, go to downtown San Fran, shop around there a bit.’
      • ‘Anthony and Jamie decided to catch a late movie so they left soon after Conner did, leaving only Rachel and Ian.’
      • ‘She had the house to herself since Mariana went out to catch a movie with Jeremy and her parents were running errands.’
      • ‘After that we're all going to the movies to catch that latest horror flick.’
      • ‘That big building with the Coca-Cola sign was next to where he used to catch movies with his friend.’
      • ‘My last class is at three, maybe we can catch a movie; you know, to get your mind off things.’
      • ‘Saturday night Big-P and I caught an early session of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and I loved it.’
      • ‘Hopefully ex-pat Crikey readers can respond to our email request below to let us know how and where you are planning on catching the big race.’
      • ‘Soccer and rugby fans could face difficulty catching matches in Bradford's pubs next season because Sky Sports has upped its subscriptions.’
      be present at, be at, be there at, sit in on, take part in
      View synonyms
  • 5Engage (a person's interest or imagination)

    ‘it was the business scheme that had caught his imagination’
    • ‘The scheme has already caught the imagination and interest of local school children.’
    • ‘I hope this scheme will catch the imagination of the public and we shall be exploring the opportunities for investment from the private sector.’
    • ‘The next venture was a jumble-sale which caught the imagination of so many and began the fund-raising in earnest.’
    • ‘There were other topics that caught my interest.’
    • ‘Something about her caught my imagination, not beauty in the traditional sense but some unknown quality.’
    • ‘The idea has caught the imagination of the national media and it is hoped more information will be available next week.’
    • ‘But they soon caught the public imagination, in Yorkshire more than most places.’
    • ‘I haven't read it all yet, but one facet of the investigation has caught my interest.’
    • ‘It is clear at this stage that the song has a universal appeal, catching the imagination of young and old alike.’
    • ‘You go to a shopping mall and have to keep detouring around people who stop dead in the middle of the aisle when something catches their interest.’
    • ‘He knows how to catch the interest of a college crowd, too.’
    • ‘To catch students' interest and to highlight the importance of recycling a competition is being held over the next four weeks.’
    • ‘She browsed through her entries for a long time, before finding something that caught her interest.’
    • ‘Consequently, house prices would need to drop very significantly to catch my attention.’
    • ‘Having caught your attention and thrown you back in time, he shows you something worth watching.’
    • ‘American modernism, full of exiles and immigrants, caught his attention early.’
    • ‘Again I was lost in a daze, staring at the boy who had caught my attention earlier.’
    • ‘He was just walking through the library, not looking for anything in particular, when he comes upon a book that catches his attention.’
    • ‘I have quite an eye for fashionable clothing and this garment caught my attention immediately.’
    • ‘Her red hair caught his attention first, and then it was those icy blue eyes.’
    • ‘If Egan had simply made this argument and then left town, his lobbying effort might not have caught my notice.’
    engage, capture, attract, draw, gain, grab, arrest, seize, hold, win, absorb, engross, rivet, grip, captivate, bewitch
    View synonyms
    1. 5.1Perceive fleetingly.
      ‘she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror’
      • ‘He even caught a glimpse of some movement out of the corner of his eye.’
      • ‘I caught a glimpse of a clock and it read about two ten in the morning.’
      • ‘I still recall one Sunday morning when I caught a glimpse of them outside.’
      • ‘The shopkeeper could have caught a glimpse of the plastic bags.’
      • ‘As he leapt out of the water and towards his bike, he was travelling at such lightning speed that I barely caught a glimpse of him.’
      • ‘This time she caught a glimpse of his slim figure but she still could not see his face.’
      • ‘At first she could see nothing, but then caught a glimpse of something black trying to hide from her behind a branch.’
      • ‘Glancing over his shoulder, he caught a glimpse of her on her cell phone.’
      • ‘As he walked to the showers he caught a glimpse of himself in a mirror.’
      • ‘My already sad heart dropped when I caught sight of the peeling piece of wood that read New Hope Ranch.’
      • ‘Many times Edward caught sight of Sarah dropping her fork or spoon, and although she look quite the lady he knew better because of her manners.’
      • ‘Elly turned to Jade's companion, her jaw dropping as she caught sight of the strange menagerie.’
      • ‘My upper body wavered precariously and my eyes watered as I caught sight of the drop below.’
      • ‘Among the sludgy grey clouds were a few streaks of indigo and, when the sun peeked out and the wind dropped, we caught a glimpse of what sea kayaking is all about.’
      • ‘I looked up and caught sight of Kenny throwing his black backpack on the table.’
      • ‘A good hour passes before we reach Skull Island and catch a glimpse of the mighty Kong.’
      • ‘The customer smiled back and then I caught sight of Aidan reaching with his hand toward the lowest shelf.’
      • ‘Is this a sight from heaven or what: catching a glimpse of her is enough to make you reach for the blood-pressure tablets.’
      • ‘His body froze as he caught sight of another man standing back in the shadows of the cave with his arms folded across his chest.’
      • ‘Hurriedly pulling a comb through his dark hair, he caught his image in a mirror.’
      perceive, notice, observe, discern, detect, note, become aware of, make out, spot, see
      View synonyms
    2. 5.2Hear or understand (something said), especially with effort.
      ‘he bellowed something Jess couldn't catch’
      • ‘‘Be quiet, everyone,’ he said as he caught the drift of what was coming out of the juke box.’
      • ‘Our hyper friendly waiter must have caught the drift of our chatter about geese and pigs, and soon joined in.’
      • ‘But it was an effort for him to talk, his voice so low that I could not always catch what he said, and sometimes he would collapse back on to the bed trying to hide his exasperation.’
      • ‘He went inside mumbling something about friends and enemies that I didn't quite catch.’
      • ‘I had to raise and lower the volume more than once to catch what had just been said.’
      • ‘The few words that Neesha did catch were too jumbled up to understand.’
      • ‘Let's call her Tamsin, Or Timsun, as she would say it, although she said her name so fast I never caught it.’
      hear, perceive, recognize, discern, make out
      View synonyms
    3. 5.3Succeed in evoking or representing.
      ‘the programme caught something of the flavour of Minoan culture’
      • ‘He explores the space, catches its relationship and represents it in various forms.’
      • ‘It really catches the feel of Dave's work.’
      • ‘His mastery was in describing exciting events and in catching the flavor of the moment.’
      evoke, conjure up, suggest, summon up, call to mind, recall, express, reproduce, represent, show, encapsulate, capture, record
      View synonyms
  • 6with object and adverbial of place Strike (someone) on a part of the body.

    ‘Ben caught him on the chin with an uppercut’
    • ‘The perspex side caught me a nasty blow (as they say) on the forehead and the forearm.’
    • ‘The blow that caught me around the ears knocked me to the floor.’
    • ‘The informant's blow caught him full force in the chest causing him to curse into the gag.’
    • ‘A few heavy blows caught me bruisingly in the face, and I quickly let go of the creature.’
    • ‘Peter swung around, and the flat of his knife caught her a glancing blow on the side of the head.’
    • ‘The blow caught Philip in the back and sent him flying onto his stomach.’
    • ‘She just barely dodged a more deadly blow that only caught her in the chest cutting open her shirt and cutting her skin.’
    • ‘Sally stumbled backward as a second blow caught her in the forehead.’
    • ‘The blow caught him heavily in the chest and he started to slump.’
    • ‘A shock ran through him like a physical blow, catching him in the stomach and nearly knocking him over.’
    • ‘He was able to dodge, but only partially, and the blow caught him on the outside of his rib cage.’
    • ‘He saw Derryn's fatigue and struck out quickly, catching Derryn across his ribs with his blade.’
    • ‘The stinging blow caught the youth across the head, sending him stumbling to the side.’
    • ‘He evaded the blow quite easily and caught Steve in the mouth with his left fist.’
    • ‘Eric spun around to block the blow but was caught from the side by the killer's fist.’
    • ‘Warner lunged, but Walters moved aside, catching Warner a glancing blow with a fist to the side of his head.’
    hit, strike, slap, smack, crack, bang, connect with, contact
    View synonyms
    1. 6.1Accidentally strike (a part of one's body) against something.
      ‘she fell and caught her head on the corner of the hearth’
      • ‘As he fell he caught his head on the edge of the bay dock leveller.’
      • ‘I pictured a back-handed blow, a woman slumping, catching her head on a hard surface.’
      • ‘I caught my leg on the corner of a little metal bench and I really started to bleed.’
      • ‘Round-off protruding parts on the stairs, e.g. ends of the landing, stair edges and posts, so that you do not catch yourself on them or injure yourself on the sharp edges.’
      • ‘On a mountain bike, you have to have narrow bars or you'll catch yourself on a tree.’
  • 7Contract (an illness) through infection or contagion.

    ‘he served in Macedonia, where he caught malaria’
    • ‘It damages unborn babies, and may cause miscarriage if the mother catches the disease while pregnant.’
    • ‘A child with TB may have to stay in the hospital so others do not catch the infection.’
    • ‘At this time it is not clear if the female nurse caught the disease from the patient, or through other sources.’
    • ‘People normally catch this flu from infected birds, usually chickens and ducks.’
    • ‘And during a disease outbreak, a number of vaccinated people will indeed catch the disease.’
    • ‘The 72-year-old, who suffers from asthma, caught pneumonia while at the hospital.’
    • ‘People frequently catch this infection as children or young adults.’
    • ‘This can help symptoms, but patients are at risk from catching pneumonia or developing an air leak where the lung is re-sealed.’
    • ‘While catching a disease from your pet is rare, certain groups of people are more likely than others are to become seriously ill from a pet.’
    • ‘If you catch the flu, carefully monitor and control your blood sugar levels and adjust your diabetes medication as needed.’
    • ‘The department also called for residents to go to hospitals once they catch a fever or feel soreness in their bones.’
    • ‘So far 12 students have gone down with the virus and college staff say that unless all students are vaccinated more could catch the disease.’
    • ‘Thomas, who regularly catches urinary infections, urgently needs surgery to expand his bladder to ensure he will not suffer kidney failure.’
    • ‘Despite being given 34 surgical staples in his skull and catching pneumonia in hospital, Ben was taken off a ventilator one week after the accident.’
    • ‘I thought that he had probably caught cat flu and was going to die.’
    • ‘At the time there were about one billion people in the world and about half of those caught this illness.’
    • ‘Her daughter then caught a fever that carried her off within twenty-four hours.’
    • ‘At the age of 28, she caught a tropical fever from her patients and died.’
    • ‘He caught scarlet fever when he was a young child and this affected his hearing.’
    • ‘Some vaccines do not offer life-long immunity and often the disease is far more serious when caught at an older age.’
    become infected with, contract, get, take, become ill with, become sick with, fall ill with, fall sick with, be taken ill with, show symptoms of, succumb to, develop, come down with, go down with, sicken for, fall victim to, be struck down with, be stricken with
    View synonyms
  • 8no object Become ignited and start burning.

    ‘the rafters have caught’
    • ‘The flame catches and burns the empty paper to an ash.’
    • ‘The house caught and burned completely to the ground.’
    • ‘The wood caught, but it burned feebly.’
    • ‘It took several tries for the tinder to catch in the damp atmosphere.’
    • ‘Shortly a fire caught in the wick of the oil lamp and shed light through the tent.’
    • ‘She thrust the torch into the funeral bier and watched as the fire caught and spread on the dry wood.’
    • ‘In horror I watched as other men surrounded the circle, all with their own torches trying to get the fire to catch.’
    • ‘Analise poked at the embers, hoping a new fire would catch.’
    • ‘Shrugging, he threw some twigs into the fire, watching them catch and crackle.’
    ignite, become ignited, burn, start burning, flame, catch fire, take fire, burst into flames, flame up, kindle
    View synonyms
    1. 8.1(of an engine) fire and start running.
      ‘the generator caught immediately’
      • ‘With a sudden jolt, the primary engines caught and the ship sped skywards on a comet of light.’
      • ‘He turned the car on, waiting for the engine to catch for a minute.’
      • ‘The first two Toyota pickups we got into wouldn't start, even with eight men rocking them to get the engine to catch.’
      • ‘Every time it rained, which was often in Miami, the belt would slip on the pulley and it would take a lot of pumping to get the motor to catch.’
      • ‘Her hands were shaking - it took her three tries for the ignition to catch.’
      start, start running, fire, begin working, go, function, operate
      View synonyms


  • 1An act of catching something, typically a ball.

    ‘I saw myself fumbling easy catches and looking clumsy.’
    • ‘In the 37th minute, the scoring lapse was broken in some style as Conor Phelan made a magnificent catch before sending the ball between the posts.’
    • ‘The last thing you want to do is lose the ball after a good catch.’
    • ‘They all allowed a high ball to bounce when they could have made the clean catch.’
    • ‘Keeper Nicky Roberts - who had a good game otherwise - misjudged the catch and the ball hopped tamely and agonisingly over the goal line.’
    • ‘Three things are required to make a legal catch of a batted ball.’
    • ‘Cork's Nicholas Murphy won seven of those kick-outs, including four clean catches.’
    • ‘Within five minutes it was clear that the midfield battle was being hopelessly lost with neither a break or a clean catch coming Carlow's way.’
    • ‘As Robinson positioned himself and waited for the ball to arrive, he wasn't the only one to realise the importance of a clean catch.’
    • ‘On one play, he turns around, stops and makes a one-handed catch of an underthrown ball.’
    • ‘He also is a skilled receiver who is productive running with the ball after making a catch.’
    • ‘Patterson has turned in some acrobatic, diving catches of late.’
    • ‘He continues to make tough catches, runs well after the catch and seems to have a knack for getting open.’
    • ‘She made a great catch and shot the ball over the bar for the last score.’
    • ‘After watching a quick compilation of plays, it was determined that the receivers were taking their eyes off the ball before making a catch.’
    • ‘This would not be a legal catch because the ball is no longer in flight once it hit the umpire who is part of the ground.’
    • ‘Smyth bravely made a great catch and played a long ball out of defence aiming for Curry.’
    • ‘They've been able to make great catches because the ball is thrown softly.’
    • ‘Robinson is also a fighter for the ball, and his catches are team boosters.’
    • ‘Jessica panicked when he missed the catch and the ball came flying to her.’
    1. 1.1Cricket A chance or act of catching the ball to dismiss a batsman.
      ‘he took a brilliant catch at deep square leg’
      • ‘New Zealand's fielding was also awful with several misfields and dropped catches.’
      • ‘It was also an innings of great catches and easy misses.’
      • ‘Countless runs were gifted away through shoddy fielding and innumerable dropped catches.’
      • ‘He was out caught to a fine catch by Hayward at mid-off just four short of his best of 73 not out.’
      • ‘It has been a long time since we have seen an Indian wicket-keeper who dives headlong for catches.’
    2. 1.2An amount of fish caught.
      ‘the UK's North Sea haddock catch’
      • ‘The beaches of East Anglia maybe can't produce the numbers of cod they once did, but there are still good catches taken and big fish caught.’
      • ‘At home catches of white fish have been poor over the last couple of weeks.’
      • ‘Some stretches are very well stocked and if you're on fish, multiple catches are common.’
      • ‘Sometimes catches of a hundred fish a boat are not unusual on the Skerries if you are lucky enough to catch the weather and the tides happily coinciding.’
      • ‘So abundant was the subsequent catch of fish that Peter and the others had to call for help just to get it all into the boats.’
      • ‘Fish stocks and catches are up, and they have the bonus of jobs and diving tourism income.’
      • ‘Most of the white fish boats continuing to fish herring with catches varying from good some days to poor other days.’
      • ‘These good catches indicate that there are large numbers of fish passing through every day.’
      • ‘Our local fishermen are getting reasonable catches of prawns and little fish.’
      • ‘There is still some way to go in reducing catches and fishing fleets before benefits can be felt from bigger and healthier stocks, he said.’
      • ‘The decline in fish catches in the Great Lake and the river below it may not yet be dramatic, but it is taking place for a variety of reasons.’
      • ‘Boats reported a great catch of fish with many boats getting a great variety of species.’
      • ‘He claimed to have evidence of widespread fraudulent reporting of fish catches, falsification of logbooks and illegal fishing in closed areas.’
      • ‘France, which lands the majority of deep sea fish, is proposing the introduction of the first ever limits on deep-sea catches.’
      • ‘Many of us have enjoyed the good old days of huge catches with very few limitations, but those days are long gone as times change.’
      • ‘It states that there are no quotas in force limiting catches and sustainable fishing levels need to be investigated as a matter of urgency.’
      • ‘Many stillwater fisheries continue to report good catches.’
      • ‘Over the last 18 years trawlermen have been told to cut catches and limit days at sea, as efforts to conserve stocks have become more desperate.’
      • ‘Winners were Paul Little and Isaac Miller with a fantastic catch, given the conditions, of 12 for 30 lb 9oz.’
      • ‘Kevin Whincup also advises that a recent consignment of roach into the front pond should see catches continuing through winter.’
      haul, net, bag, take, yield, booty, prize
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 informal in singular A person considered desirable as a partner or spouse.
      • ‘I mistakenly thought he would be a good catch’
      • ‘It is, in part, this ease that makes you a catch for potential partners.’
      • ‘The Shopkeeper was aware that Carl would be considered a good catch for any girl in town.’
      • ‘If you focus on lifestyle issues, in other words, what you wear, where you live, how much of a catch your partner is, etc, you will turn the control of how you are judged over to other people.’
      • ‘That disgusting brute had actually been viewed as a decent catch for a local girl because, compared to his neighbours, he lived a good life.’
      • ‘Grant Delamont, the one catch that every girl dreamed of at Edamont High.’
      • ‘She would be a particularly impressive catch.’
      • ‘All in all he just wasn't a particularly good catch.’
      eligible man, eligible woman, prospect, marriage prospect, match, suitable husband, suitable spouse, suitable wife
      View synonyms
  • 2mass noun A game in which a ball is thrown back and forth between two or more players.

    ‘I found the final rather involving, which given that rugby is in essence a game of catch taken extremely seriously is not bad going at all.’
    • ‘The frenetic action and strategic nuances of this seven-a-side sport also make it feel a long way from a casual game of catch.’
    • ‘Every now and then we'd pull ourselves from our lazy places in the sand to start up a game of catch with a foam football out in the waves.’
    • ‘The students were led to believe that the players were other students playing a virtual game of catch.’
    • ‘Feeling bored and tired of waiting for the train to get going we play throw and catch with a ball.’
    • ‘The game's so boring, they're summoning their dogs to have a pat or for a game of catch.’
    • ‘Of course you can always bring along some baseball gloves and a ball for a game of catch.’
    • ‘After a few passes, we were bored of the age-old game of catch.’
    • ‘Then the first boy pushed me, and I found myself in the middle of an improvised game of catch!’
    • ‘I can only hope that every boy can enjoy the bond with his father that is the game of catch.’
    • ‘Rubber balls and Frisbees are always a treat for a game of catch.’
    • ‘Others kick back on cots and read, while outside a football is tossed in a friendly game of catch.’
    • ‘Two of them had been playing a game of catch with their friends at the park.’
    • ‘Foremost was that pitchers should throw every day, not throw hard, but just lob the ball and play catch to loosen up.’
    • ‘He wouldn't be able to hold Robert's hands again, to teach him to throw a ball, to play catch!’
    • ‘They were playing catch, and each time either would throw the ball, the other would miss and then have to retrieve it.’
    • ‘The boys went off to play catch with a football as we set up lunch and then waited for the fireworks to arrive.’
    • ‘They were playing catch with a new-found ball that Justin had lost months ago, all the while everybody else worked.’
    • ‘In addition to having as simple or elaborate meal as you choose, you can bring along a Frisbee or ball to play catch.’
    • ‘I smile and step over their toys, or dodge their plastic balls as they play catch.’
  • 3A device for securing something such as a door, window, or box.

    ‘the window catch was rusty’
    • ‘At present ventilation windows on carriages are secured by two catches spaced about a metre apart.’
    • ‘An inquest held at Flax Bourton Coroner's Court in Bristol heard part of the window catch was broken, meaning it could be pushed open at any time.’
    • ‘The catch snapped and the window released slightly.’
    • ‘After cleaning myself I noticed the window catch was off.’
    • ‘He tried to close the doors, but the catch was broken and light seeped in.’
    • ‘Skillfully, she unlatched the catch and opened the door, allowing Edward and James to enter.’
    • ‘He will return in a week or so to fit steel bolt locks to all the windows, as it seems the brass catches are next to useless.’
    • ‘Under the lip of the removable cushioned seat she had found a small catch, rusty enough to break two nails.’
    • ‘He tapped the bottom of the tool with his palm, and with a quick lift, the catch gave way and the burglar swung open the window.’
    • ‘Many new windows come with better locks and special catches that allow you to leave a window ajar without permitting a burglar to open it far enough to climb through.’
    • ‘Tonight's little jobs will be to get a catch put on the bathroom door because it doesn't stay shut and the cats keep tossing the soap in the bath.’
    • ‘Mark and Rebecca stood, and the three of them hurried over to the windows, searching for levers or catches to pull them open.’
    • ‘I walked into school, went to my locker, and lifted up on the catch without spinning my combination.’
    • ‘He smiled at her, as she undid the catch, and opened the huge wooden door.’
    • ‘The hall was empty, and he pulled his head back and closed the door, sliding the chain from the catch.’
    • ‘Running her arms along the upper ridge of the crate, her fingers hit a catch in the wood, and immediately the door released.’
    • ‘There's no catch securing the lid shut, but it's not as if notebooks suddenly flip open by themselves if they're not clasped down.’
    • ‘He flicked the catch open and eased the door open a few inches.’
    • ‘There weren't any zippers, buttons or catches he could find, so it was just a matter of trial and error.’
    • ‘Chris stepped on a catch and the floor slid away, causing both Jade and Chris to tumble down into the pit.’
    latch, lock, fastener, fastening, clasp, hasp, hook, bar, clip, bolt
    View synonyms
  • 4A hidden problem or disadvantage in an apparently ideal situation.

    ‘there's a catch in it somewhere’
    • ‘The hidden catch here is that in this case, this rule was violated.’
    • ‘At The Bull Hotel on Tuesday, the programme makers reassured residents there were no hidden catches.’
    • ‘The girl looked up at her, too satisfied to care if there were any kind of hidden catches.’
    • ‘My eyes danced about the surface of the coupon, examining each word for hidden meaning, hidden catches, and hidden insight into life itself.’
    • ‘So, for the time being at least, Hurt is settled in theatre, the only catch being the 10 bananas he must eat each week in the line of duty as Krapp.’
    • ‘The catch is that contestants here, apparently not satisfied with simply voting someone off the island, actually try to kill one another.’
    • ‘Before you apply for any new savings account, check the terms and conditions for any catches or restrictions.’
    • ‘But it has a catch; not running correctly can result in painful cramps, sore muscles and maybe broken bones.’
    • ‘Jared was too methodical, never one to take action without looking out for the catch.’
    • ‘But if you already have a bunch of Xbox games, there is one little catch.’
    • ‘Just here, the beach is all yours… though there's one catch.’
    • ‘The project was today welcomed by teenage pregnancy support groups who said there ‘really is no catch.’’
    • ‘Then, to my horror, I discovered there was a catch: You could only use your copy of this font with a single printer!’
    • ‘The catch, and there had to be one, is that taxpayers will have to pay back the full cost, with interest, over 30 years.’
    snag, disadvantage, drawback, stumbling block, hitch, fly in the ointment, joker in the pack, pitfall, complication, problem, hiccup, hindrance, difficulty, setback, hurdle, downside, minus
    View synonyms
  • 5in singular An unevenness in a person's voice caused by emotion.

    ‘there was a catch in Anne's voice’
    • ‘‘You can wake me up now,’ she said with a slight catch in her voice.’
    • ‘Sherringham sounded only slightly winded, though there was a catch to his voice.’
    • ‘Sinjun didn't fail to notice the slight catch in her voice.’
    • ‘‘Gareth says it's nearly time for you to leave,’ she said with a catch in her voice.’
    • ‘There was a little catch in Brian's voice when he responded after a long silence.’
    • ‘At other times, he gives his voice just the right catch to sell a subtle moment.’
    • ‘Her father had told her, often with a catch in his voice, that her mother had died giving her birth.’
    • ‘Karen told them in a scolding tone, but there was a catch in her voice.’
    • ‘The catch in her voice made him feel even worse for having to explain it again.’
    • ‘There was a catch in her voice, and Eric saw that she was fighting to keep from crying.’
    • ‘He praised the boat and his crew, a tiny catch in his voice when he spoke of her ending her naval life in the boat shed in Cairns.’
    • ‘There was a catch in Alex's voice as he crushed Vivienne to him.’
    • ‘Her response was simple, but he heard the catch of her voice.’
    • ‘But Jay heard the catch in her voice, and pulled away, searching her face.’
    • ‘Despite his attempt at nonchalance, Jason noticed the catch in his voice immediately.’
    • ‘She frowned slightly, but she had caught the catch in his voice and understood that this was not an issue she should press.’
    • ‘The doctor even had a catch in the last word he spoke, and then he'd stopped speaking as Aaron saw the lump form in his throat.’
    tremor, unevenness, shake, shakiness, quiver, quivering, wobble
    View synonyms
  • 6Music
    A round, typically one with words arranged to produce a humorous effect.

    ‘The catch, a particular form of round based on word-play, was especially popular in Restoration England.’
    • ‘The catch was one of the most popular forms of song from the mid-Sixteenth through the late-nineteenth centuries.’
    • ‘The best catches combine magnificent musical composition with intricate and inventive poetry.’
    • ‘A Catch or Round of the best type of Elizabethan times consisted of one melody, generally perfectly continuous.’
    • ‘The hidden words that popped out as the catch was sung were often comic or off-color.’


    catch it
    British informal
    • Be punished or told off.

      • ‘I'll catch it if he finds me here’
      • ‘It's because somewhere, they broke a rule they didn't know about and caught hell for it.’
      • ‘Everything I did in life that was worthwhile I caught hell for.’
      • ‘Dave already has caught hell, and lots of it.’
      • ‘They ran out of trolleys that night, and I caught hell from Mr Norton.’
      • ‘Some state coordinators are still catching hell for the choices they made.’
      • ‘And when you're catching hell from both sides, as Brian indicated, you must be doing something right.’
      • ‘They bought the cheap labor mantra like it was religion and are now catching hell.’
      • ‘I remember once going shopping for my Mum, and a friend asked me to get a jelly that her Mum had sent her for. Of course, I'd forgotten that it would be ticked off our rations! I really caught it for that.’
      • ‘The next day I really caught it from my so called buddies about taking her to the dance.’
    catch someone's eye
    • 1Be noticed by someone.

      ‘a vase on a side table caught his eye’
      • ‘It was the notice about the Italian Cookery School that caught my eye.’
      • ‘Hop on and off all day long, stopping to see the attractions that catch your eye.’
      • ‘In addition to his general argument I'd draw attention to two other stories that caught my eye.’
      • ‘Her attention was swayed as a beautiful blue vase caught her eye.’
      • ‘Nobody is going to pay attention to your online store unless something catches their eye.’
      • ‘I love restaurants that run out of things - it guarantees freshness and at the same time it dares you to return on a different day to savour the treat that first caught your eye.’
      • ‘How often have you bought a book you'd never heard of, just because it caught your eye in the bookshop?’
      • ‘But it was Jessica who caught their eye with her poise and confidence.’
      • ‘Groups of people were browsing their way through the many beer tents trying whatever caught their eye.’
      • ‘Even with all these people shouting and pushing and moving, only one thing caught Matthew 's eye: a small shop on the corner of a road across from where he was standing.’
    • 2Attract someone's attention by making eye contact with them.

      ‘he caught Eva's eye and beckoned’
      • ‘Floyd caught my eye for a moment and winked before turning his attention back to Katie.’
      • ‘My friend and I had a very attentive waiter who replenished our drinks as soon as we caught his eye.’
      • ‘I caught Milton 's eye again, and he was grinning ear to ear.’
      • ‘I looked up to see what he was talking about and caught Tim 's eye.’
      • ‘When she caught his eye, she noticed his lip was trembling, trying to keep the tears in.’
      • ‘I tried to catch his eye, but, although he noticed me, he seemed uninterested in even acknowledging me, let alone starting in conversation.’
      • ‘I looked at him hoping to catch his eye but he looked past me without really noticing.’
      • ‘After a few minutes she noticed Mrs. Dobbs trying to catch her eye, and so she returned the glance.’
      • ‘She told officers she noticed him looking at her and when she caught his eye he immediately crossed the road, grabbed her by the arms and started trying to kick her legs from under her.’
      • ‘He didn't even notice when she stopped and tried to catch his eye.’
    catch the light
    • Shine or glint in the light.

      ‘small gold hoop earrings caught the light as she turned her head’
      • ‘Her spectacles caught the light from somewhere and glimmered under the straight blonde of her hair.’
      • ‘When she turned away, her earrings caught the light.’
      • ‘Try a healthy dose of illumination for your eyes with discreet, shimmery pigments that catch the light and radiate a heart-stopping, soft glow.’
      • ‘Its shimmering texture caught the light perfectly.’
      • ‘Her necklace caught the light and shimmered against her skin.’
      • ‘Her eyes are a piercing shade of light blue; when they catch the light, the effect is truly arresting.’
      • ‘To play up the effect of the candle light, add some decorative items that will catch the light.’
      • ‘A heavy frost has left the garden covered in a sparkling layer of white that catches the light as the sun comes through the clouds.’
      • ‘The crystals that hung form the chandeliers sparkled, almost with life, as they caught the light of each tiny flame, recasting it in a bright array of colors.’
      • ‘Our swords flashed through the air, catching the light.’
    catch the sun
    • 1Be in a sunny position.

      ‘a glassed-in porch that caught the sun’
      • ‘I shamelessly adapted the idea for an inner-city roof garden that never caught the sun by painting the concrete floor slabs with black and white stone paint.’
      • ‘The Irish Sea has never been balmy, but the sheltered bay in Port Erin caught the sun and meant many happy summers spent frisking in the sand.’
      • ‘Facing south and catching the sun, the large rear garden is secluded by conifers.’
      • ‘From the outside, each has its own character - whether it be wide, sweeping steps up to the front door, an elegant, whitewashed garden chair placed to catch the sun, or palm-fronds waving in gravelled front plot.’
      • ‘The bedrooms are in the first wing, pointing east to catch the sun as it rises in the morning and the other wings catch the sun later in the day.’
      • ‘In the afternoons, the garden often caught the sun, and on duller days the roses danced and bobbed in the breeze.’
      • ‘He chose this mountain due to its height (5700’ above sea level), the soft grainy consistency of the granite, and the fact that it catches the sun for the greatest part of the day.’
      • ‘There is a patio looking out over the beach that catches the sun, two TVs with cable channels, a well-stocked room bar and a walk-in closet with ironing board.’
      • ‘Stairs lead to a large living/dining area, outside which a terrace looks over the sea and catches the sun until late afternoon.’
      • ‘The spa's plan was determined by orientation and the need to catch the sun.’
    • 2British Become tanned or sunburned.

      ‘My face has turned the colour of a boiled lobster - the polite phrase that grandmothers use is ‘My oh my, you have caught the sun, haven't you?’’
      • ‘But on the bright side, I really caught the sun yesterday, so at least I don't look quite as horrible as I feel.’
      • ‘I think that's perhaps when I caught the sun - and on the walk back home when it was on our backs and necks.’
      • ‘‘Oh you've really caught the sun,’ she said, all womanly and concerned.’
      • ‘He strolled across the street, noting that Angela had certainly caught the sun.’
    you wouldn't catch — doing something
    • Used to indicate that there is no possibility of the person mentioned doing what is specified.

      • ‘you wouldn't catch me walking back to the house alone at night’
      • ‘While you wouldn't catch me, or I'd imagine, most sane people, driving a vehicle out onto a frozen lake, it's fun to watch the people ice fishing, being pulled on skis or just taking a leisurely stroll.’
      • ‘I wonder if the people look down on us queuing up and laugh, thinking you wouldn't catch me in a car.’
      • ‘Well, you wouldn't catch me behind the stick of one of those things.’
      • ‘Goodness me, you wouldn't catch me out there in the early mornings with hair in curlers and a shovel under my arm.’
      • ‘Nowadays you wouldn't catch me in the sea without at least a wetsuit, if not a drysuit.’
      • ‘Usually you wouldn't catch me dead at a movie with such a female perspective, but as I've seen the original, I thought I would give the ‘frumpy’ Bridget another shot.’
      • ‘Oh no, you wouldn't catch me doing that, guv'nor…’
      • ‘I've had a lot of fun with terms that are too intricate to vocalize myself, but you wouldn't catch me announcing such an unfortunate phrase in public.’
      • ‘But you wouldn't catch me staring into his eyes.’
      • ‘I can assure you, though, that you wouldn't catch me sitting on a dock of a bay this particular shade of rust.’

Phrasal Verbs

    catch on
    • 1 informal (of a practice or fashion) become popular.

      • ‘the idea of linking pay to performance has caught on’
      • ‘If the practice catches on, however, I would like to see it broadened to include more misunderstood groups.’
      • ‘Australia's geographic isolation plays a big part in why the practice has caught on.’
      • ‘It was not until 1900 that soccer became popular in France, catching on in the industrial towns of northern France, but the average gate rarely rose above a thousand.’
      • ‘Despite its worldwide popularity golf has never caught on in big way in St Lucia.’
      • ‘Christmas markets are popular in Europe and have recently begun to catch on in Britain’
      • ‘Were you always confident that the idea of having choral groups in the community and performing would catch on the way it has?’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the idea doesn't seem to be catching on very fast.’
      • ‘Halloween's still an American tradition though catching on here fast.’
      • ‘Vinyl fencing is a relatively new product, but is catching on fast.’
      • ‘But there are others who vouch for the success, saying the trend has really caught on.’
    • 2 informal Understand what is meant or how to do something.

      • ‘I caught on to what it was the guy was saying’
      • ‘Yet his principles did not let him stay in Berlin once the censors caught on to his tricks.’
      • ‘Maybe this is a case where Hollywood has actually caught on to the value of free content.’
      • ‘He bent his head down and began kissing my neck and I finally caught on to what he was about to do.’
      • ‘Kyle nodded slowly, catching my gaze to see if I'd caught on to the line of questioning.’
      • ‘Taylor came into the conversation late but quickly caught on to the discussion.’
      • ‘The employee now figures it was a ruse to see if they had caught on to his scheme.’
      • ‘Although I must admit, you catch on faster than anyone I have ever known.’
      • ‘It takes him forever to catch on to the game, and even when he finally understands he still takes no action.’
      • ‘He's exceptionally smart; he catches on very quickly, and is already learning how to read.’
      • ‘Australian's are getting much better at dancing to our music, they're catching on.’
      1. 2.1catch yourself onIrish Become aware of something.
        ‘catch yourself on, Michael, people don't get arrested for no reason’
        • ‘When you're older you catch yourself on, you just aren't so bothered about fighting.’
        • ‘Catch yourself on, you're going to either end up dead or in jail.’
        • ‘Catch yourself on, will you, Kathleen?’
        • ‘Jimmy Joe, catch yourself on, are you saying you should only support a team when they're winning?’
        • ‘Whoever wrote this, catch yourself on please.’
    catch out
    • 1catch someone out, catch out someoneBritish Detect that someone has done something wrong or made a mistake.

      ‘his tone suggested he'd caught her out in some misdemeanour’
      • ‘A couple of weeks ago in the US, the singer was caught out miming to the wrong song.’
      • ‘The Government was caught out and exposed, but time and time again we are seeing this Government exercising duplicity in the messages it delivers to New Zealanders.’
      • ‘When Georgia let it slip about that book they're publishing we saw a chance to catch him out and I volunteered to go undercover.’
      • ‘His biggest regret seems to be that he was caught out, not that he did wrong.’
      • ‘I only say this because I have been caught out being naive before, and mistaken what I thought was this amazing connection that actually eventuated into, well disaster.’
      • ‘But interestingly, before this was actually arranged, the situation was clarified because his drug use escalated, and he was caught out at work.’
      • ‘They don't have the balls to admit that they were caught out, so they attack and lie and prevaricate and do everything to shuffle out from under it.’
      • ‘Former Manchester United ace Lee Martin was caught out as a benefit cheat while working for the club as a TV pundit.’
      • ‘John snaps, convinced he's caught me out in a lie.’
      • ‘Silence filled the room and she knew she had caught him out.’
      discover, detect, find, come across, come upon, stumble on, chance on, light on, bring to light, turn up, expose, find out, unmask
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Put someone in a difficult situation for which they are unprepared.
        ‘you might get caught out by the weather’
        • ‘That might not strike you as too difficult, but the final part will surely catch you out.’
        • ‘The going was quite easy apart from the odd deep pot that that catches you out by surprise.’
        • ‘The stages are very varied, with slow and quick portions and no particular surprises to catch you out, and that's a good thing.’
        • ‘Although he was surprised he was not caught out.’
        • ‘There was a bigger sensation in store in the 66th minute, with Liverpool running out of ideas, they were caught out by a long ball.’
        • ‘It's a favourite trick companies use to catch you out - your monthly payments are put towards the original transferred debt while your new spending goes to the back of the queue collecting interest until it reaches the front.’
        • ‘Just two miles into the first stage of the day they were caught out by the slippery conditions and slid off the road.’
        • ‘Unfortunately, we were caught out by gearbox problems.’
        • ‘Unfortunately as it happened at Castle Combe a week earlier, qualifying didn't go the youngster's way and in both sessions he was caught out by the session being prematurely ended due to incidents involving other cars.’
        • ‘The bite point on a new clutch caught me out today, and I stalled on the green flag lap.’
    • 2catch someone out, catch out someoneBritish Cricket
      Dismiss a batsman by catching the ball before it touches the ground.

      ‘the wicketkeeper caught him out easily’
      • ‘Opening the second innings the batsman was caught out for a duck.’
      • ‘Australia's Simon Katich is caught out by England's Marcus Trescothick.’
      • ‘After 75 minutes Blanc just managed to nick a ball away from Basturk as he waited to strike, but the ball came flashing back in and caught Nicky Butt out.’
      • ‘Or more tantalisingly, had they justly been given an earlier crack at the Australian middle order after catching Ponting out early in his innings only to see the delivery wrongfully ruled a no-ball.’
    catch up
    • 1Succeed in reaching a person who is ahead of one.

      ‘he stopped and waited for Lily to catch up’
      • ‘you go with Stasia and Katie, and I'll catch up with you’
      • ‘The poet hurried to catch up, and when he reached the river, he too stopped and looked around.’
      • ‘She kept going further ahead and then turning to wait for them to catch up, as Matthew couldn't move very fast.’
      • ‘She broke into a jog, trying to catch up to him before he reached the next piazza a hundred metres down.’
      • ‘I caught up with them, overtook them and stood blocking their path.’
      • ‘They quickly ran forward and caught up with him as he reached the door.’
      • ‘David nodded and they both ran on to ahead to catch up with the man.’
      • ‘Pocketing the object, he ran ahead to catch up with his friend.’
      • ‘Police radioed ahead and caught up with the gang as they passed the highway patrol office.’
      • ‘He picked up his speed, not even thinking as far ahead to what he would do if he did catch up with her, he just wanted to get to her.’
      • ‘The lorry had caught up with her by the time she'd reached the junction to cross the road.’
      draw level
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1catch someone up, catch up someoneBritish Succeed in reaching a person who is ahead of one.
        ‘you go with Tess and I'll catch you up’
        • ‘‘Whoops, forgot about the slowpoke guys,’ Esmée teased, ‘We'll catch you up, you go ahead and get tickets and such.’’
        • ‘In a third of the time he's already caught me up and in the next few weeks he will zoom ahead.’
        • ‘A submarine could barely make half this speed - hence the tactic of sailing ahead and anticipating the surface fleet catching you up.’
      2. 1.2Do tasks that one should have done earlier.
        ‘he normally used the afternoons to catch up on paperwork’
        • ‘a year's hard studying had helped him to catch up’
        • ‘Oh, and there's a backlog of domestic and business stuff to catch up on.’
        • ‘I like having the place to myself, though I have a bunch of housework to catch up on.’
        • ‘Public holidays are when I catch up on household chores and visit my ailing parents.’
        • ‘I really have to catch up on my email, you know what it's like when you're out of the office for a few days.’
        • ‘The justices added he would not be tagged the days he was at college and that meant he would have plenty of time at home to catch up on his work.’
        • ‘I sat down after dinner to catch up on correspondence but found my eyes drooping almost immediately.’
        • ‘Monday saw me back at work; I hit the ground running as there was quite a bit to catch up on.’
        • ‘It's amazing how much I have to catch up on considering I've been absent for such a short time.’
        • ‘I am never on top of my work and forever trying to catch up on paper work.’
        • ‘Work is settling down though I still have quite a few things to catch up on after the trip.’
    • 2Talk to someone whom one has not seen for some time in order to find out what they have been doing.

      ‘it's always good to catch up with old friends’
      • ‘We have to catch up! I haven't seen you in so long’
      • ‘the two women catch up on years of absence’
      • ‘Two female former schoolmates whom I caught up with two weeks ago also found themselves single recently.’
      • ‘Like all these things, it was a good chance to catch up with old friends!’
      • ‘Pat said the evening was a chance to catch up with old friends and was thoroughly enjoyable.’
      • ‘Still, it was great to catch up with so many old friends and workmates.’
      • ‘It was great to get the chance to catch up with each other.’
      • ‘I must admit I was mostly pleased to not be at work and to have the chance to catch up with a few people.’
      • ‘Last month I had a chance to catch up with Matt and discuss the book.’
      • ‘It was great having a chance to catch up with you over lunch today.’
      • ‘Communal meals in the dining hall allow you a chance to catch up with friends and make new ones.’
      • ‘After breakfast I went into our Canberra office and caught up with some old colleagues which was strangely reassuring.’
    • 3be caught up in or get caught up inBe involved in something that one had not intended to become involved in.

      ‘he had no desire to be caught up in political activities’
      • ‘The Christmas shopping phenomena has begun and I really do not want to get caught up in that again.’
      • ‘Any of us could have been in the shops on the street on Friday and been caught up in what happened.’
      • ‘Did I intend to get caught up in some weird drama with a bunch of people I don't know?’
      • ‘What if, like so many others, I was caught up in this terrible tangle of lives that led nowhere?’
      • ‘There are some things that you got caught up in then that you might have regrets about now.’
      • ‘Let's just watch wrestling and stop getting caught up in all this debate!’
      • ‘The first lap of today's race was quite dramatic and it was very important to me to avoid getting caught up in that.’
      • ‘The holiday season is upon us and there's no reason to get caught up in all the madness that is mall shopping.’
      • ‘Why do so many investors get caught up in small speculative companies?’
      • ‘My Uncle Victor got caught up in the civil war in Nicaragua whilst on a cycling tour of Central America.’
    • 4catch something up, catch up somethingPick something up hurriedly.

      ‘she caught up her jacket and bag and walked to the door’
      • ‘She caught up her skirts and moved closer.’
      • ‘He caught up his bag and ran towards her.’
      • ‘He stood silently as she caught up the gym bag which, he knew, held her regular clothes and the books she would be taking home with her.’
      • ‘Before security realised the danger, this man caught up the weapon and ran through Government Buildings until he reached the offices of the Department of Finance.’
      • ‘He strode down the hall and descended the stairs two at a time, catching up his overcoat.’
    catch up with
    • catch up with someoneBegin to have a damaging effect on someone.

      ‘the physical exertions began to catch up with Sue’
      • ‘They began sparring again, but Kristy soon found that her lack of proper amounts of sleep was beginning to catch up with her.’
      • ‘All these days and nights without sleep were beginning to catch up with him.’
      • ‘My patient's unhealthy lifestyle began to catch up with him peripheral vascular disease, a stroke, and then angina.’
      • ‘Eventually his legion of injuries began to catch up with him.’
      • ‘She tried to keep her eyes open but the sleepless day was beginning to catch up with her.’
      • ‘The cracks in their marriage begin to show when Tom's sinister past catches up with him and the pair set off an escalating spiral of suspicion, greed and betrayal.’
      • ‘As my body began to warm up and relax, exhaustion caught up with me and I drifted in and out of a feverish half-sleep.’
      • ‘As time passes and the booze catches up with her, she dozes off.’
      • ‘They were forced to move out of their home, in the upmarket Morningside area of Edinburgh, and into care when old age caught up with them.’
      • ‘Vinnie Roe is a wonderfully brave horse but old age is catching up with him.’


Middle English (also in the sense ‘chase’): from Anglo-Norman French and Old Northern French cachier, variant of Old French chacier, based on Latin captare ‘try to catch’, from capere ‘take’.