UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈkætʃ/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/kætʃ/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(kach)

Inflections of 'catch' (v): (⇒ conjugate)
v 3rd person singular
v 3rd person singular
v pres pverb, present participle: -ing verb used descriptively or to form progressive verb--for example, "a singing bird," "It is singing."
v pastverb, past simple: Past tense--for example, "He saw the man." "She laughed."
v past pverb, past participle: Verb form used descriptively or to form verbs--for example, "the locked door," "The door has been locked."

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
catch /kætʃ/USA pronunciation   v.,  caught/kɔt/USA pronunciation  catch•ing, n. 
  1. [+ object] to seize or capture, esp. after chasing: The police tried for weeks to catch the thief.
  2. to trap or ensnare:[+ object]I was caught in a dead-end job.
  3. [+ object] to take and hold (something thrown, etc.): She caught the ball.
  4. [+ object] to surprise or notice, as in some action: [+ object + verb-ing]I caught them cheating.[+ object]She caught me in the act of cheating on my test.
  5. to find (someone) in a particular condition, usually missing something:[+ object]He was caught with his guard down (= He was not prepared).
  6. [+ object] to receive, incur, or contract (a disease): He caught a cold at the overnight party.
  7. to be in time to get aboard:[+ object]We caught the train at Trondheim.
  8. [+ object] to take hold of;
    clasp: He caught her in an embrace.
  9. to (cause to or allow to) become gripped, stuck, or entangled: [+ object]I caught my coat on that nail and it ripped.[no object]My sleeve caught on that nail.
  10. to attract;
    attract the attention of:[+ object]She was caught by his winning smile.
  11. to hold (oneself) back or restrain (oneself) suddenly:[+ oneself]He had to catch himself so that he wouldn't overreact.
  12. [+ object] to see or attend (a show, etc.): Did you catch that new musical?
  13. [+ object] to strike;
    hit: The blow caught him on the head.
  14. to fasten with or as if with a catch;
    to (cause to) take hold: [no object]The lock won't catch.[+ object]See if you can catch the lock on the chain.
  15. [+ object] to grasp with the intellect;
    comprehend: I caught the meaning of that joke but didn't dare laugh.
  16. to hear clearly:[+ object]I couldn't catch what you said; could you repeat that?
  17. to be aware of (a smell, etc.):[+ object]I caught a whiff of her perfume.
  18. [+ object] to record or represent successfully: This photo caught her expression perfectly.
  19. to become lighted;
    ignite:[no object]The green logs just won't catch.
  20. catch at, [+ at + object] to grasp at eagerly:The children caught at the teacher's skirt.
  21. Dialect Terms catch on, [no object]
    • to become popular:For a long while her songs just didn't catch on.
    • to grasp the meaning;
      understand:I'm a little slow but eventually I catch on.[+ on + to + object]She didn't catch on to my explanation.
  22. catch out, [ + obj + out] to catch or discover in lies or an error:They caught him out in a lie.
  23. catch up,
    • [+ up + with/to + object] to overtake someone or something moving:I caught up with her and pulled her arm.
    • [+ up + with + object] to overwhelm suddenly:The truth caught up with him and he realized what he had done.
    • [+ up + on + object] to do enough so that one is no longer behind:He was catching up on his work on weekends.
    • [usually: be + caught + up] to be involved or interested in very strongly:He was caught up in his work and neglected his family.

  1. [countable] the act of catching.
  2. [countable] anything that catches, esp. a device for slowing motion, as a handle on a window.
  3. [countable] any tricky or concealed problem or drawback: There must be a catch somewhere.
  4. a slight, momentary break or crack in the voice:[countable;  usually singular]She answered with a catch in her voice and started to cry.
  5. something caught, as a quantity of fish:[countable]We brought home quite a catch.
  6. a person or thing worth getting, esp. as a desirable partner in marriage:[countable]What a catch she would be.
  7. Games a game in which a ball is thrown from one person to another:[uncountable]We went out in the yard to play catch.
  1. Idioms, Informal Termscatch it, Informal. to receive a reprimand or punishment:You'll really catch it if you don't finish your homework.

catch•a•ble, adj. 

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
catch  (kach),USA pronunciation v.,  caught, catch•ing, n., adj. 
  1. to seize or capture, esp. after pursuit:to catch a criminal; to catch a runaway horse.
  2. to trap or ensnare:to catch a fish.
  3. to intercept and seize;
    take and hold (something thrown, falling, etc.):to catch a ball; a barrel to catch rain.
  4. to come upon suddenly;
    surprise or detect, as in some action:I caught him stealing the pumpkin.
  5. to receive, incur, or contract:to catch a cold.
  6. to be in time to get aboard (a train, boat, etc.).
  7. to lay hold of;
    clasp:He caught her arm.
  8. to grip, hook, or entangle:The closing door caught his arm.
  9. to allow (something) to become gripped, hooked, snagged, or entangled:He caught his coat on a nail.
  10. to attract or arrest:The painting caught his fancy. His speech caught our attention.
  11. to check or restrain suddenly (often used reflexively):She caught her breath in surprise. He caught himself before he said the wrong thing.
  12. to see or attend:to catch a show.
  13. to strike;
    hit:The blow caught him on the head.
  14. to become inspired by or aware of:I caught the spirit of the occasion.
  15. to fasten with or as if with a catch:to catch the clasp on a necklace.
  16. to deceive:No one was caught by his sugary words.
  17. to attract the attention of;
    charm:She was caught by his smile and good nature.
  18. to grasp with the intellect;
    comprehend:She failed to catch his meaning.
  19. to hear clearly:We caught snatches of their conversation.
  20. to apprehend and record;
    capture:The painting caught her expression perfectly.
  21. Dialect Terms[South Midland and Southern U.S.]to assist at the birth of:The town doctor caught more than four hundred children before he retired.

  1. to become gripped, hooked, or entangled:Her foot caught in the net.
  2. to overtake someone or something moving (usually fol. by up, up with, or up to).
  3. to take hold:The door lock doesn't catch.
  4. Sport[Baseball.]to play the position of catcher:He catches for the Yankees.
  5. to become lighted;
    take fire;
    ignite:The kindling caught instantly.
  6. Agriculture, Botanyto become established, as a crop or plant, after germination and sprouting.
  7. Idiomscatch a crab, (in rowing) to bungle a stroke by failing to get the oar into the water at the beginning or by failing to withdraw it properly at the end.
  8. catch at, to grasp at eagerly;
    accept readily:He caught at the chance to get free tickets.
  9. Nauticalcatch a turn, to wind a rope around a bitt, capstan, etc., for one full turn.
  10. catch it, [Informal.]to receive a reprimand or punishment:He'll catch it from his mother for tearing his good trousers again.
  11. Dialect Termscatch on: 
    • to become popular:That new song is beginning to catch on.
    • to grasp mentally;
      understand:You'd think he'd catch on that he's boring us.
    • Dialect Terms[New England.](in cooking) to scorch or burn slightly;
      sear:A pot roast is better if allowed to catch on.
  12. British Termscatch out, [Chiefly Brit.]to catch or discover (a person) in deceit or an error.
  13. catch up: 
    • to lift or snatch suddenly:Leaves were caught up in the wind.
    • to bring or get up to date (often fol. by on or with):to catch up on one's reading.
    • to come up to or overtake (something or someone) (usually fol. by with):to catch up with the leader in a race.
    • to become involved or entangled with:caught up in the excitement of the crowd.
    • to point out to (a person) minor errors, untruths, etc. (usually fol. by on):We caught the teacher up on a number of factual details.
    • Sport[Falconry.]to capture for further training (a hawk that has been flown at hack).
    • Dialect Terms[South Midland and Southern U.S.]to harness (a horse or mule).

  1. the act of catching.
  2. anything that catches, esp. a device for checking motion, as a latch on a door.
  3. any tricky or concealed drawback:It seems so easy that there must be a catch somewhere.
  4. a slight, momentary break or crack in the voice.
  5. that which is caught, as a quantity of fish:The fisherman brought home a large catch.
  6. a person or thing worth getting, esp. a person regarded as a desirable matrimonial prospect:My mother thinks Pat would be quite a catch.
  7. Gamesa game in which a ball is thrown from one person to another:to play catch; to have a catch.
  8. a fragment:catches of a song.
  9. Music and Dancea round, esp. one in which the words are so arranged as to produce ludicrous effects.
  10. Sportthe catching and holding of a batted or thrown ball before it touches the ground.
  11. Sport[Rowing.]the first part of the stroke, consisting of the placing of the oar into the water.
  12. Agriculturethe establishment of a crop from seed:a catch of clover.

  1. catchy (def. 3).
catcha•ble, adj. 
  • Vulgar Latin *captiāre, for Latin captāre to grasp at, seek out, try to catch, frequentative of capere to take
  • Old North French cachier
  • Middle English cacchen to chase, capture 1175–1225
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged apprehend, arrest.
    • 7.See corresponding entry in Unabridged Catch, clutch, grasp, seize imply taking hold suddenly of something.
      To catch may be to reach after and get:He caught my hand.To clutch is to take firm hold of (often out of fear or nervousness), and retain:The child clutched her mother's hand.To grasp also suggests both getting and keeping hold of, with a connotation of eagerness and alertness, rather than fear (literally or figuratively):to grasp someone's hand in welcome; to grasp an idea.To seize implies the use of force or energy in taking hold of suddenly (literally or figuratively):to seize a criminal; to seize an opportunity.
    • 17.See corresponding entry in Unabridged enchant, fascinate, win.
    • 35.See corresponding entry in Unabridged capture, apprehension, arrest.
    • 36.See corresponding entry in Unabridged ratchet, bolt.
    • 1, 7.See corresponding entry in Unabridged
    • 35.See corresponding entry in Unabridged release.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
catch /kætʃ/ vb (catches, catching, caught)
  1. (transitive) to take hold of so as to retain or restrain
  2. (transitive) to take, seize, or capture, esp after pursuit
  3. (transitive) to ensnare or deceive, as by trickery
  4. (transitive) to surprise or detect in an act: he caught the dog rifling the larder
  5. (transitive) to reach with a blow: the stone caught him on the side of the head
  6. (transitive) to overtake or reach in time to board
  7. (transitive) to see or hear; attend
  8. (transitive) to be infected with: to catch a cold
  9. to hook or entangle or become hooked or entangled
  10. to fasten or be fastened with or as if with a latch or other device
  11. (transitive) to attract or arrest: she tried to catch his eye
  12. (transitive) to comprehend: I didn't catch his meaning
  13. (transitive) to hear accurately: I didn't catch what you said
  14. (transitive) to captivate or charm
  15. (transitive) to perceive and reproduce accurately: the painter managed to catch his model's beauty
  16. (transitive) to hold back or restrain: he caught his breath in surprise
  17. (intransitive) to become alight: the fire won't catch
  18. (transitive) to dismiss (a batsman) by intercepting and holding a ball struck by him before it touches the ground
  19. (intransitive) often followed by at: to grasp or attempt to grasp
  20. to take advantage (of), esp eagerly: he caught at the chance
  21. catch itinformal to be scolded or reprimanded
  1. the act of catching or grasping
  2. a device that catches and fastens, such as a latch
  3. anything that is caught, esp something worth catching
  4. the amount or number caught
  5. informal a person regarded as an eligible matrimonial prospect
  6. a check or break in the voice
  7. a break in a mechanism
  8. informal a concealed, unexpected, or unforeseen drawback or handicap
  9. (as modifier): a catch question
  10. the catching of a ball struck by a batsman before it touches the ground, resulting in him being out
  11. a type of round popular in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, having a humorous text that is often indecent or bawdy and hard to articulate

See also catch on, catch out, catch upEtymology: 13th Century cacchen to pursue, from Old Northern French cachier, from Latin captāre to snatch, from capere to seize

ˈcatchable adj
'catch' also found in these entries:
Collocations: catch the [ball, pass, throw], a [spectacular, game-winning] catch, catch [a cold, the flu, chickenpox, your death], more...

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