• WordNet 3.6
    • n catchword a word printed at the top of the page of a dictionary or other reference book to indicate the first or last item on that page
    • n catchword a favorite saying of a sect or political group
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Catchword A word or phrase caught up and repeated for effect; as, the catchword of a political party, etc.
    • Catchword Among theatrical performers, the last word of the preceding speaker, which reminds one that he is to speak next; cue.
    • Catchword (Print) The first word of any page of a book after the first, inserted at the right hand bottom corner of the preceding page for the assistance of the reader. It is seldom used in modern printing.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n catchword In old writing and printing, a word of the text standing by itself in the right-hand corner of the bottom of a page, the same as the first word of the next page, to mark the connection or proper sequence. In old manuscript books a catchword was at first inserted only at the end of a sheet or quire (that is, the quantity folded together); in printing it was the practice until the nineteenth century to insert one at the foot of every page.
    • n catchword In the drama, the last word of a speaker, which serves to remind the one who is to follow him of what he is to say; a cue.
    • n catchword A word caught up and repeated for effect; a taking word or phrase used as a partizan cry or shibboleth: as, the catchword of a political party.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Catchword among actors, the last word of the preceding speaker—the cue: the word at the head of the page in a dictionary or encyclopædia: the first word of a page given at the bottom of the preceding page: any word or phrase taken up and repeated as the watchword or symbol of a party
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  • Robert Louis Stevenson
    “The little rift between the sexes is astonishingly widened by simply teaching one set of catchwords to the girls and another to the boys.”


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


In literature:

Catchwords like "gold bug" and "popocrat" flew back and forth.
"History of the United States, Volume 5" by E. Benjamin Andrews
Watchwords, catchwords, phrases, and epithets are the modern instrumentalities.
"Folkways" by William Graham Sumner
The stroke was welcomed with cheers and laughter; and "contraband" became a catchword.
"The Negro and the Nation" by George S. Merriam
The people took it up as a popular catchword.
"A Son of the Immortals" by Louis Tracy
The grandeur of the plain story requires no straining after catchwords.
"Khartoum Campaign, 1898" by Bennet Burleigh
It depends on a falsetto voice and the use of a recognized number of catchwords.
"The House with the Green Shutters" by George Douglas Brown
Once a catchword is sprung, it is run to death.
"G. K. Chesterton, A Critical Study" by Julius West
The old political catchwords 'Peace, retrenchment, and reform,' no longer awoke enthusiasm.
"Lord John Russell" by Stuart J. Reid
I can't bear your rules, and catchwords, Dick; what's the good of them!
"Tatterdemalion" by John Galsworthy
That was a current catchword.
"The Prisoner" by Alice Brown
The title of the new book became a catchword.
"A Great Man" by Arnold Bennett
There is, too, a special source of ambiguity in the catchword used by the revolutionary school.
"Hours in a Library" by Leslie Stephen
The "Return of the Hero" was the catchword of the nation.
"The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte" by William Milligan Sloane
And no doubt it is easy thus to circumvent a child with catchwords, but it may be questioned how far it is effectual.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XIX (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
To my mind the whole trouble arises from the practice of teaching one set of catchwords to girls and another to boys, as Stevenson says.
"Modern marriage and how to bear it" by Maud Churton Braby
They are a happy crowd, and roar jest and catchword to the passengers on the crossing ferries.
"Merchantmen-at-Arms" by David W. Bone
It became certain that the "traditions" were not mere catchwords, but a most beneficent reality.
"The Galaxy, April, 1877" by Various
There is nothing so potent in a public debate as the picturesque catchwords in which leaders of thought sum up their convictions.
"They Who Knock at Our Gates" by Mary Antin
Whenever we take up a new idea as a crowd, we at once turn it into a catchword and a fad.
"The Behavior of Crowds" by Everett Dean Martin
It has signatures, but neither catchwords nor numerals.
"The Confessions of a Collector" by William Carew Hazlitt

In news:

JAKARTA — Sustainability is the catchword in the palm oil industry these days, with many multinational companies having pledged to use oil only from sustainable sources by 2015.
Some shining examples of slick, sporty coupes (as the two-door versions are most often named) that cost more than their related sedans (the catchword for four-door renditions) include the mid-size Hyundai Elantra.
It has the prime virtue of political catchwords: It means many different things to many different people.
Understand the meaning of "transfer," "catchphrase," and "catchwords" in persuasive writing.