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Definition of 'catch'


  1. a drawback or difficulty that is not readily evident; "it sounds good but what's the catch?"
       Synonyms: gimmick
  2. the quantity that was caught; "the catch was only 10 fish"
       Synonyms: haul
  3. a person regarded as a good matrimonial prospect
       Synonyms: match
  4. anything that is caught (especially if it is worth catching); "he shared his catch with the others"
  5. a break or check in the voice (usually a sign of strong emotion)
  6. a restraint that checks the motion of something; "he used a book as a stop to hold the door open"
       Synonyms: stop
  7. a fastener that fastens or locks a door or window
  8. a cooperative game in which a ball is passed back and forth; "he played catch with his son in the backyard"
  9. the act of catching an object with the hands; "Mays made the catch with his back to the plate"; "he made a grab for the ball before it landed"; "Martin's snatch at the bridle failed and the horse raced away"; "the infielder's snap and throw was a single motion"
       Synonyms: grab snatch snap
  10. the act of apprehending (especially apprehending a criminal); "the policeman on the beat got credit for the collar"
       Synonyms: apprehension arrest collar pinch taking into custody


  1. discover or come upon accidentally, suddenly, or unexpectedly; catch somebody doing something or in a certain state; "She caught her son eating candy"; "She was caught shoplifting"
  2. perceive with the senses quickly, suddenly, or momentarily; "I caught the aroma of coffee"; "He caught the allusion in her glance"; "ears open to catch every sound"; "The dog picked up the scent"; "Catch a glimpse"
       Synonyms: pick up
  3. reach with a blow or hit in a particular spot; "the rock caught her in the back of the head"; "The blow got him in the back"; "The punch caught him in the stomach"
       Synonyms: get
  4. take hold of so as to seize or restrain or stop the motion of; "Catch the ball!"; "Grab the elevator door!"
       Synonyms: grab take hold of
  5. succeed in catching or seizing, especially after a chase; "We finally got the suspect"; "Did you catch the thief?"
       Synonyms: get capture
  6. to hook or entangle; "One foot caught in the stirrup"
       Synonyms: hitch
       Antonyms: unhitch
  7. attract and fix; "His look caught her"; "She caught his eye"; "Catch the attention of the waiter"
       Synonyms: arrest get
  8. capture as if by hunting, snaring, or trapping; "I caught a rabbit in the trap toady"
       Synonyms: capture
  9. reach in time; "I have to catch a train at 7 o'clock"
  10. get or regain something necessary, usually quickly or briefly; "Catch some sleep"; "catch one's breath"
  11. catch up with and possibly overtake; "The Rolls Royce caught us near the exit ramp"
       Synonyms: overtake catch up with
  12. be struck or affected by; "catch fire"; "catch the mood"
  13. check oneself during an action; "She managed to catch herself before telling her boss what was on her mind"
  14. hear, usually without the knowledge of the speakers; "We overheard the conversation at the next table"
       Synonyms: take in overhear
  15. see or watch; "view a show on television"; "This program will be seen all over the world"; "view an exhibition"; "Catch a show on Broadway"; "see a movie"
       Synonyms: watch view see take in
  16. cause to become accidentally or suddenly caught, ensnared, or entangled; "I caught the hem of my dress in the brambles"
  17. detect a blunder or misstep; "The reporter tripped up the senator"
       Synonyms: trip up
  18. grasp with the mind or develop an understanding of; "did you catch that allusion?"; "We caught something of his theory in the lecture"; "don't catch your meaning"; "did you get it?"; "She didn't get the joke"; "I just don't get him"
       Synonyms: get
  19. contract; "did you catch a cold?"
  20. start burning; "The fire caught"
  21. perceive by hearing; "I didn't catch your name"; "She didn't get his name when they met the first time"
       Synonyms: get
  22. suffer from the receipt of; "She will catch hell for this behavior!"
       Synonyms: get
  23. attract; cause to be enamored; "She captured all the men's hearts"
       Synonyms: capture enamour trance becharm enamor captivate beguile charm fascinate bewitch entrance enchant
  24. apprehend and reproduce accurately; "She really caught the spirit of the place in her drawings"; "She got the mood just right in her photographs"
       Synonyms: get
  25. take in and retain; "We have a big barrel to catch the rainwater"
  26. spread or be communicated; "The fashion did not catch"
  27. be the catcher; "Who is catching?"
  28. become aware of; "he caught her staring out the window"
  29. delay or hold up; prevent from proceeding on schedule or as planned; "I was caught in traffic and missed the meeting"

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