• WordNet 3.6
    • adj catching (of disease) capable of being transmitted by infection
    • n catching becoming infected "catching cold is sometimes unavoidable","the contracting of a serious illness can be financially catastrophic"
    • n catching (baseball) playing the position of catcher on a baseball team
    • n catching the act of detecting something; catching sight of something
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The youth tries to catch the hen as the Sister of the Sun watches The youth tries to catch the hen as the Sister of the Sun watches
The dragon catches sight of its reflection in the mirror The dragon catches sight of its reflection in the mirror
The robber-chief catches the queen The robber-chief catches the queen
A kitten looks worried, as a puppy destroys a flower bed while it's trying to catch its own tail A kitten looks worried, as a puppy destroys a flower bed while it's trying to catch its own tail
Hans Catches the Frau Hans Catches the Frau
Don't stop the plow to catch a mouse Don't stop the plow to catch a mouse

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Roman emperor Domitian took great pleasure in being secluded in his room for hours and catching flies and stabbing them with pens
    • Catching Captivating; alluring.
    • Catching Infectious; contagious.
    • n Catching The act of seizing or taking hold of.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Joseph Gayetty is credited for inventing toilet paper in 1857. Unfortunately, his invention failed and did not catch on until ten years later
    • catching Communicating, or liable to be communicated, by contagion; infectious.
    • catching Captivating; charming; attracting: as, a catching melody; a catching manner.
    • catching Acquisitive; greedy.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In Cleveland, Ohio, it's illegal to catch mice without a huntinglicense.
    • Catching the action of the verb 'to catch:' a nervous or spasmodic twitching
    • ***


  • Proverb
    “An eagle does not catch flies.”
  • Franklin P. Jones
    “Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next.”
  • Leslie Weatherhead
    Leslie Weatherhead
    “The trouble with some of us is that we have been inoculated with small doses of Christianity which keep us from catching the real thing.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Courtship -- A man pursuing a woman until she catches him.”
  • Benjamin Franklin
    “The sleeping fox catches no poultry.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “The slow man with integrity will ultimately catch the swift one who has none.”


Catch as catch can - This means that people should try to get something any way they can.
Catch hell - If you catch hell, you get into trouble or get scolded. ('Catch heck' is also used.)
Catch some z's - If you catch some z's, you get some sleep.
Catch someone red-handed - If someone is caught red-handed, they are found doing something wrong or illegal.
Catch-22 - Catch-22 is a situation where conflicting rules make the desired outcome impossible. It comes from a novel by the American author Joseph Heller, in which pilots would not have to fly missions if they were mentally ill, but not wanting to fly dangerous missions was held to be proof of sanity, so they had to fly anyway. ('Catch 22', without the hyphen, is also used.)
Don't catch your chickens before they're hatched - This means that you should wait until you know whether something has produced the results you desire, rather than acting beforehand. ('Don't count your chickens until they've hatched' is an alternative.)
Early bird catches the worm - The early bird catches the worm means that if you start something early, you stand a better chance of success.
Set a thief to catch a thief - The best person to catch a criminal is another criminal as they understand how criminals work.
Sprat to catch a mackerel - If you use a sprat to catch a mackerel, you make a small expenditure or take a small risk in the hope of a much greater gain.
You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar - This means that it is easier to persuade people if you use polite arguments and flattery than if you are confrontational.


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
From O. Fr. cachier—Late L. captiāre for captāre, inten. of capĕre, to take. See Chase.


In literature:

He must not only catch fish, but catch ones that could be eaten.
"An American Robinson Crusoe" by Samuel. B. Allison
He'll catch them, every single one!
"Russian Fairy Tales" by W. R. S. Ralston
If you are always catching up while you are an employe you will always be catching up while you are boss.
"Dollars and Sense" by Col. Wm. C. Hunter
If I catch sight of 'em I'll fill 'em full of shot and then have 'em locked up.
"The Rover Boys on Treasure Isle" by Edward Stratemeyer (AKA Arthur M. Winfield)
It remained to us now either to abandon the chase or put our horses to their mettle and catch up.
"The Scalp Hunters" by Mayne Reid
Natty had just time to catch it, and to save me from falling forward on my face.
"In the Wilds of Africa" by W.H.G. Kingston
The General wants to see the catch before noon.
"Ride Proud, Rebel!" by Andre Alice Norton
I longed to screw my head round so that I might at least catch a glimpse of the brute in whose power I lay.
"Chatterbox, 1906" by Various
He keeps on and on until he catches a flutter of a white dress.
"Floyd Grandon's Honor" by Amanda Minnie Douglas
They spear the fish which abound in their waters, or catch them with scoop and other nets.
"The Western World" by W.H.G. Kingston

In poetry:

She, too, is full of quick reply
When laughing questions pass;
And catches with a ready eye
The wiles of lad and lass.
"Connelbush" by Alexander Anderson
If he catches them then, either old or young,
Does he have them chopped in pieces or hung,
or SHOT,
The Akond of Swat?
"The Akond of Swat" by Edward Lear
And hollow and haggard faces
Look into the lighted hall,
And wasted hands are extended
To catch the crumbs that fall.
"The Challenge. (Birds Of Passage. Flight The Third)" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
And a lady friend said to her;
"Did you catch the speaker's eye?"
"I sure did, and I'll tell you
The simple reason why!"
"Woman in Congress" by Frank Barbour Coffin
Where is our brother? Where is he,
Ye late saw smiling here,
I look in vain his face to see
To catch his tones so clear.
"Where Is Our Brother?" by James Avis Bartley
No traveller came, he loiter'd long
And often look'd around,
And paus'd and listen'd eagerly
To catch some coming sound.
"Jaspar" by Robert Southey

In news:

Winter Park's Blake McClain catches a ball in front of Miami Booker T Washington LB Matthew Thomas during the ESPN Florida Premiere 7s tournament last summer at Wide World of Sports.
Here are a few of the latest to catch my eye.
Check out the 9th Wonder-backed lyricist spit ear-catching bars with ease.
For music fans, it means a chance to catch extended sets from their favorite bands.
Helfrich was Borgia 's leading receiver with four catches for 75 yards.
Tamika Catchings, the Fever icon and Olympian.
East Providence anglers Kevin Bettencourt (left) and his father, Albert, have been catching striped bass this fall in the Warren River drifting eels.
There's always a catch, right.
Jersey Shore 's Angelina Pivarnick can't catch a break after her dramatic exit from the MTV hit reality show.
Kenny Bell leads Nebraska in catches (20) and receiving yards 463, while making key contributions as an example-setter between games.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — On Wednesday afternoon, orthopedic surgeon Reginald Cooper stopped in front of a door at the University of Iowa hoping to catch up with Newt Gingrich.
Catching one in nice light is a prize for any wildlife photographer.
Homeowner catches burglar in the act.
Baker police are on the lookout for a fugitive tonight, and they're asking for your help in catching him.
Will Burkina Faso 's protests catch fire like Egypt, Tunisia.

In science:

It has three disjoint sorts: action for actions, situation for situations and a catch-all sort object for everything else depending on the domain of application.
Logic-Based Specification Languages for Intelligent Software Agents
As we shall check, the above stopping times with b = F ∗ + f 2 , provide a simple way to catch elongations.
One-dimensional random field Kac's model: localization of the phases
Not all elongations are of this form, as one simply verifies, but what matters is that this procedure catches enough of them, sufficient to prove Theorem 3.1.
One-dimensional random field Kac's model: localization of the phases
When it comes down to creating a molecular condensate, the catch to photoassociation is that it generally occurs to an electronically-excited state, and the subsequent irreversible losses to spontaneous decay defeat the purpose of molecular coherence.
Improved efficiency of stimulated Raman adiabatic passage in photoassociation of a Bose-Einstein condensate
The key to catching gamma-ray bursts while they are occurring is to rapidly locate the gamma-ray burst.
Swift's Ability to Detect Gamma-Ray Bursts