Definition of play catch-up in English:

play catch-up

phrase

informal
  • 1Fall behind continually with work or financial matters.

    ‘I'm always playing catch-up with my homework’
    • ‘It seems like we're always behind trying to play catch-up on the equipment nowadays it's changing so quickly.’
    • ‘And while they held all the cards previously, now they are on the back foot and continually forced to play catch-up, prompting the inevitable fall-outs and clash of personalities.’
    • ‘We can't continue to play catch-up as we've been doing in Ireland for years.’
  • 2North American Try to equal a competitor in a sport or game.

    ‘we tried to play catch-up in the final period’
    • ‘We got behind in qualifying and had to play catch-up.’
    • ‘It's imperative, however, that they don't have to play constant catch-up.’
    • ‘Wireless technology is big in Japan and Europe, and at the moment, the United States is playing a little catch-up.’
    • ‘They realized they needed to play a bit of catch-up, and refocused and committed to the growing market.’