Share this entry

Share this page


Pronunciation: /kætʃ/

Translation of catch in Spanish:

transitive verb/verbo transitivo (past tense & past participle/pasado y participio pasado caught)

  • 1 1.1 [ball/object] agarrar, coger* (especially Spain/especialmente España) he caught her by the arm/wrist la agarró or (especially Spain/especialmente España) cogió del brazo/de la muñeca 1.2 (capture, trap) [mouse/lion] atrapar, coger* (especially Spain/especialmente España) ; [fish] pescar*, coger* (especially Spain/especialmente España) catch me if you can! ¡a que no me agarras or (especially Spain/especialmente España) coges! he got caught lo pillaron or agarraron or (especially Spain/especialmente España) cogieron she got caught [euphemistic/eufemístico] (se) quedó embarazada
    Example sentences
    • 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.
    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 2.1 (take by surprise) agarrar, coger* (especially Spain/especialmente España) , pillar [colloquial/familiar], pescar* [colloquial/familiar] to catch sb in the act agarrar ( or coger* etc) a algn infraganti or con las manos en la masa she caught him reading her mail lo pilló leyendo sus cartas [colloquial/familiar] (you won't) catch me going there again! [colloquial/familiar] ¡a mí no me vuelven a ver el pelo por ahí! [colloquial/familiar] you won't catch me falling for that one! pierde cuidado, que esa yo no me la trago [colloquial/familiar] you won't catch her in on a Saturday night un sábado por la noche no la pillas or pescas en casa [colloquial/familiar] we got caught in the rain nos sorprendió or [colloquial/familiar] nos pilló or pescó la lluvia 2.2 (intercept) [person] alcanzar* run and catch him corre a ver si lo alcanzas catch you later (American English/inglés norteamericano) [colloquial/familiar] nos vemos to catch sb with his pants o (British English/inglés británico) trousers down [colloquial/familiar] agarrar or (especially Spain/especialmente España) coger* a algn desprevenido or [colloquial/familiar] en off-side
    Example sentences
    • 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.
    Example sentences
    • 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.
    Example sentences
    • ‘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.
  • 3 3.1 [train/plane] (take) tomar, coger* (especially Spain/especialmente España) ; (be in time for) alcanzar* I only just caught it lo alcancé con el tiempo justo, por poco lo pierdo 3.2 (manage to see, hear) there's a movie I'd like to catch [colloquial/familiar] hay una película que no me quiero perder we'll just catch the end of the game todavía podemos pescar el final del partido [colloquial/familiar] we could catch a movie before dinner (American English/inglés norteamericano) podríamos ir al cine antes de cenar
    Example sentences
    • 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.
  • 4 (entangle, trap) I caught my skirt on a nail se me enganchó or (in Mexico also/en México también) se me atoró or (Chile) se me pescó la falda en un clavo I caught my finger in the drawer me pillé or (in Latin America also/en América Latina también) me agarré el dedo en el cajón I got caught in a traffic jam me agarró or (especially Spain/especialmente España) me cogió un atasco these people are caught in a cycle of poverty esta gente está atrapada en un círculo de pobreza
  • 5 5.1 (attract, arrest) try to catch his attention trata de atraer su atención the dress caught her fancy se encaprichó con el vestido the concept caught the imagination of the young el concepto estimuló la imaginación de los jóvenes 5.2 (apprehend) did you catch what she said? ¿oíste or entendiste lo que dijo? I didn't catch the name no entendí or capté el nombre I don't quite catch your meaning no acabo de entender or de captar lo que quieres decir he caught the look in her eye le leyó la mirada I caught the aroma of fresh coffee me llegó el aroma de café recién hecho 5.3 [mood/spirit/likeness] captar, reflejar
    Example sentences
    • 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.
  • 6 (become infected with) [disease] contagiarse de, contraer* [formal] he caught the disease se contagió de la enfermedad, contrajo la enfermedad [formal] to catch a cold resfriarse*, agarrar or (especially Spain/especialmente España) coger* or [colloquial/familiar] pescar* or pillar un resfriado I caught (the) measles from him me contagió or [colloquial/familiar] me pegó el sarampión he's caught that habit from his girlfriend esa costumbre se le ha pegado de su novia, esa costumbre la ha cogido de su novia (especially Spain/especialmente España) I caught his enthusiasm me contagió or [colloquial/familiar] se me pegó su entusiasmo
    Example sentences
    • 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.
  • 7 (hit) he caught his head on the beam se dio en la cabeza con la viga she caught him a blow on the chin le dio or pegó un golpe en la barbilla to catch it o (in American English also/en inglés norteamericano también) catch hell [colloquial/familiar] you'll really catch it from Dad if he sees you! ¡si papá te ve, te mata! he really caught it o caught hell! le cayó una de padre y señor mío
  • 8 8.1 (hold back) he caught his breath in surprise se le cortó la respiración de sorpresa 8.2 (restrain) to catch oneself contenerse*

intransitive verb/verbo intransitivo (past tense & past participle/pasado y participio pasado caught)

  • 1 1.1 (grasp) agarrar, coger* (especially Spain/especialmente España) , cachar (Mexico/México) here, catch! ¡toma, agarra or (especially Spain/especialmente España) coge or (Mexico/México) cacha! 1.2 (bite, take hold) [screw/cog] agarrar; [mechanism] engranar his voice caught and he was unable to carry on se le hizo un nudo en la garganta y no pudo continuar
    Example sentences
    • 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.
    1.3 (become hooked) engancharse, atorarse (Mexico/México) , pescarse* (Chile)
    Example sentences
    • 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.
    Example sentences
    • 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.

Phrasal verbs

catch on

verb + adverb/verbo + adverbio [colloquial/familiar]
1.1 (become popular) [fashion/idea] imponerse*; [game/style] ponerse* de moda 1.2 (understand) entender*, darse* cuenta, caer* [colloquial/familiar] to catch on to sth darse* cuenta de algo, entender* algo we finally caught on to what was happening finalmente nos dimos cuenta de lo que pasaba

catch out

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object/verbo + complemento + adverbio, verbo + adverbio + complemento
1.1 (trick) pillar [colloquial/familiar], agarrar (Southern Cone/Cono Sur) [colloquial/familiar] 1.2 (in wrongdoing) pescar* [colloquial/familiar], pillar [colloquial/familiar], agarrar, coger* (especially Spain/especialmente España) 1.3 (surprise) sorprender

catch up

verb + adverb/verbo + adverbio (draw level) I missed three weeks' classes, and it was a struggle to catch up perdí tres semanas de clase y me costó ponerme al día we used to be market leaders, but now other countries are catching up antes éramos los líderes del mercado pero ahora otros países nos están alcanzandoto catch up with/on sb/sth she had to catch up with o on the rest of the class/the work she'd missed tuvo que ponerse al nivel del resto de la clase/al día con el trabajo I've got a lot of work to catch up on tengo que poner al día mucho trabajo atrasado you go on ahead, I'll catch up with you later ustedes vayan delante, que yo ya los alcanzo all those late nights eventually caught up on o with me todas esas trasnochadas finalmente pudieron más que yo I called Sue to catch up with o on the latest gossip llamé a Sue para ponerme al día con los últimos chismes or al tanto de los últimos chismes I need to catch up on my sleep tengo que recuperar el sueño perdido 1.1 2.1verb + object + adverb/verbo + complemento + adverbio (draw level with) (British English/inglés británico) [leader/group] alcanzar* 2.2verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object/verbo + complemento + adverbio, verbo + adverbio + complemento (pick up) recoger* 1.2 (trap, involve) to be/get caught up in sth estar*/quedar enganchado/atrapado en algo [in excitement/enthusiasm] contagiarse de algo I was completely caught up in my thoughts estaba totalmente absorto or ensimismado en mis pensamientos I got caught up in the traffic me agarró or (especially Spain/especialmente España) me cogió el tráfico she got caught up in the scandal se vio envuelta en el escándalo


  • 3 (hidden drawback) trampa (feminine) what's the catch? ¿cúal es la trampa or el truco? I knew there'd be a catch in o to it somewhere ya sabía yo que tenía que haber gato encerrado there's no catch no hay ninguna trampa or ningún truco, no hay trampa ni cartón (Spain/España) it's a Catch-22 situation es una situación sin salida

Definition of catch in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day tiro
shot …
Cultural fact of the day

An estanco is an establishment selling tobacco, stamps, bus and subway passes and other products whose sale is restricted. Cigarettes etc are sold in bars and cafés but at higher prices. Estancos also sell stationery and sometimes newspapers.