verb (pastand past participle caught /kôt/)[with object]
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- ‘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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
nounBack to top
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- ‘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.
- 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.
capable from (mid 16th century):
The first recorded sense of this was ‘able to take in’, physically or mentally. It comes from Latin capere ‘take or hold’ which is found in many other English words including: accept (Late Middle English) from ad- ‘to’ and capere; anticipation (Late Middle English) ‘acting or taking in advance’; capacity (Late Middle English) ‘ability to hold’; caption (Late Middle English) originally an act of capture; captive (Late Middle English); catch (Middle English); chase (Middle English); conceive (Middle English) literally ‘take together’; except (Late Middle English) ‘take out of’; incapacity (early 17th century) inability to hold; intercept (Late Middle English) to take between; perceive (Middle English) to hold entirely; prince; receive (Middle English) ‘take back’; susceptible (early 17th century) literally ‘that can be taken from below’.
catch someone napping
- see nap1.
be caught short
- see short.
catch at straws
- see straw.
catch one's breath
- see breath.Example sentences
- She caught her breath as the figure picked up the torch she had laid on the edge of the hearth.
- What the breath coach did observe was that Jake caught his breath and clammed up, then became anxious.
- These are the moments when we catch our breath and glimpse the presence of the Divine.
catch one's death (of cold)
- see death.
catch someone's 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.
- 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.
catch someone in the act
- see act.
catch the light
- Shine or glint in the light.Example sentences
- 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.
catch sight of
you wouldn't catch —— doing something
- informal 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 nightMore example sentences
- 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.
catch on informal
- 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.
- 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.
- Succeed in reaching a person who is ahead of one.Example sentences
- 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.
- 2.1Do work or other tasks that one should have done earlier: he normally used the afternoons to catch up on paperworkMore example sentences
- 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.
catch up with
- I shook my head slightly at those thoughts and jogged a little faster, catching up with Matt and Liz ahead.
- They had actually reached the car when he caught up with them.
- There were policemen running after him, but it was clear just by the photo that they had no chance of catching up with them.
- 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.
- 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.
be/get caught up in
- Become involved in (something that one had not intended to become involved in): he had no desire to be caught up in political activitiesMore example sentences
- 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?
- Example sentences
- There are over one million catchable trout in Lake Taupo.
- Of 99 passes charted against the Giants, Bears and Vikings, 85 were accurate, catchable throws.
- Smith has excellent hands and rarely misses a catchable ball.
Most popular in the US
Most popular in the UK
Most popular in Canada
Most popular in Australia
- There's always been a bit of a catch 22 about golf - you need to have a handicap to join a club, yet it's very difficult to get that handicap in a civilised way without spending hours on a rain sodden driving range in some murky British suburb.
- It is a catch-22 situation - without any big stars, the game is always going to have a low profile. But as long as it is low profile, it will struggle to produce big stars.
- Are we in a catch 22 when in comes to leading a green lifestyle?
1970s: title of a novel by Joseph Heller (1961), in which the main character feigns madness in order to avoid dangerous combat missions, but his desire to avoid them is taken to prove his sanity.
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.