v. & n.
—v. (past and past part. caught)
1 tr. a lay hold of so as to restrain or prevent from escaping; capture in a trap, in one's hands, etc. b (also catch hold of) get into one's hands so as to retain, operate, etc. (caught hold of the handle).
2 tr. detect or surprise (a person, esp. in a wrongful or embarrassing act) (caught me in the act; caught him smoking).
3 tr. a intercept and hold (a moving thing) in the hands etc. (failed to catch the ball; a bowl to catch the drips). b Cricket dismiss (a batsman) by catching the ball before it reaches the ground.
4 tr. a contract (a disease) by infection or contagion. b acquire (a quality or feeling) from another's example (caught her enthusiasm).
5 tr. a reach in time and board (a train, bus, etc.). b be in time to see etc. (a person or thing about to leave or finish) (if you hurry you'll catch them; caught the end of the performance).
6 tr. a apprehend with the senses or the mind (esp. a thing occurring quickly or briefly) (didn't catch what he said). b (of an artist etc.) reproduce faithfully.
7 a intr. become fixed or entangled; be checked (the bolt began to catch). b tr. cause to do this (caught her tights on a nail). c tr. (often foll. by on) hit, deal a blow to (caught him on the nose; caught his elbow on the table).
8 tr. draw the attention of; captivate (caught his eye; caught her fancy).
9 intr. begin to burn.
10 tr. (often foll. by up) reach or overtake (a person etc. ahead).
11 tr. check suddenly (caught his breath).
12 tr. (foll. by at) grasp or try to grasp.
1 a an act of catching. b Cricket a chance or act of catching the ball.
2 a an amount of a thing caught, esp. of fish. b a thing or person caught or worth catching, esp. in marriage.
3 a a question, trick, etc., intended to deceive, incriminate, etc. b an unexpected or hidden difficulty or disadvantage.
4 a device for fastening a door or window etc.
5 Mus. a round, esp. with words arranged to produce a humorous effect.
Phrases and idioms:
catch-all (often attrib.) a thing designed to be all-inclusive. catch-as-catch-can a style of wrestling with few holds barred. catch at a straw see STRAW. catch crop a crop grown between two staple crops (in position or time). catch one's death see DEATH. catch fire see FIRE. catch it sl. be punished or in trouble. catch me! etc. (often foll. by pres. part.) colloq. you may be sure I etc. shall not. catch on colloq.
1 (of a practice, fashion, etc.) become popular.
2 (of a person) understand what is meant.
catch out
1 detect in a mistake etc.
2 take unawares; cause to be bewildered or confused.
3 = sense 3b of v. catch-phrase a phrase in frequent use.
catch the sun
1 be in a sunny position.
2 become sunburnt.
catch up
1 a (often foll. by with) reach a person etc. ahead (he caught up in the end; he caught us up; he caught up with us). b (often foll. by with, on) make up arrears (of work etc.) (must catch up with my correspondence).
2 snatch or pick up hurriedly.
3 (often in passive) a involve; entangle (caught up in suspicious dealings). b fasten up (hair caught up in a ribbon).
catchable adj.
Etymology: ME f. AF & ONF cachier, OF chacier, ult. f. L captare try to catch

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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