• WordNet 3.6
    • v catch contract "did you catch a cold?"
    • v catch delay or hold up; prevent from proceeding on schedule or as planned "I was caught in traffic and missed the meeting"
    • v catch be struck or affected by "catch fire","catch the mood"
    • v catch 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"
    • v catch detect a blunder or misstep "The reporter tripped up the senator"
    • v catch 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"
    • v catch become aware of "he caught her staring out the window"
    • v catch be the catcher "Who is catching?"
    • v catch catch up with and possibly overtake "The Rolls Royce caught us near the exit ramp"
    • v catch succeed in catching or seizing, especially after a chase "We finally got the suspect","Did you catch the thief?"
    • v catch to hook or entangle "One foot caught in the stirrup"
    • v catch cause to become accidentally or suddenly caught, ensnared, or entangled "I caught the hem of my dress in the brambles"
    • v catch spread or be communicated "The fashion did not catch"
    • v catch 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"
    • v catch take hold of so as to seize or restrain or stop the motion of "Catch the ball!","Grab the elevator door!"
    • v catch capture as if by hunting, snaring, or trapping "I caught a rabbit in the trap today"
    • v catch take in and retain "We have a big barrel to catch the rainwater"
    • v catch attract and fix "His look caught her","She caught his eye","Catch the attention of the waiter"
    • v catch apprehend and reproduce accurately "She really caught the spirit of the place in her drawings","She got the mood just right in her photographs"
    • v catch attract; cause to be enamored "She captured all the men's hearts"
    • v catch reach in time "I have to catch a train at 7 o'clock"
    • v catch suffer from the receipt of "She will catch hell for this behavior!"
    • v catch 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"
    • v catch 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"
    • v catch hear, usually without the knowledge of the speakers "We overheard the conversation at the next table"
    • v catch perceive by hearing "I didn't catch your name","She didn't get his name when they met the first time"
    • v catch get or regain something necessary, usually quickly or briefly "Catch some sleep","catch one's breath"
    • v catch check oneself during an action "She managed to catch herself before telling her boss what was on her mind"
    • v catch start burning "The fire caught"
    • n catch the act of apprehending (especially apprehending a criminal) "the policeman on the beat got credit for the collar"
    • n catch 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"
    • n catch a cooperative game in which a ball is passed back and forth "he played catch with his son in the backyard"
    • n catch a fastener that fastens or locks a door or window
    • n catch a restraint that checks the motion of something "he used a book as a stop to hold the door open"
    • n catch a drawback or difficulty that is not readily evident "it sounds good but what's the catch?"
    • n catch a break or check in the voice (usually a sign of strong emotion)
    • n catch anything that is caught (especially if it is worth catching) "he shared his catch with the others"
    • n catch a person regarded as a good matrimonial prospect
    • n catch the quantity that was caught "the catch was only 10 fish"
    • ***

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
    • Catch (Mus) A humorous canon or round, so contrived that the singers catch up each other's words.
    • Catch A slight remembrance; a trace. "We retain a catch of those pretty stories."
    • Catch Act of seizing; a grasp.
    • Catch Hence: To insnare; to entangle. "To catch him in his words"
    • Catch Passing opportunities seized; snatches. "It has been writ by catches with many intervals."
    • Catch Something desirable to be caught, esp. a husband or wife in matrimony.
    • Catch That by which anything is caught or temporarily fastened; as, the catch of a gate.
    • Catch That which is caught or taken; profit; gain; especially, the whole quantity caught or taken at one time; as, a good catch of fish. "Hector shall have a great catch if he knock out either of your brains."
    • Catch The posture of seizing; a state of preparation to lay hold of, or of watching he opportunity to seize; as, to lie on the catch . "The common and the canon law . . . lie at catch , and wait advantages one againt another."
    • Catch To attain possession. "Have is have, however men do catch ."
    • Catch To be held or impeded by entanglement or a light obstruction; as, a kite catches in a tree; a door catches so as not to open.
    • Catch To come upon unexpectedly or by surprise; to find; as, to catch one in the act of stealing.
    • Catch To communicate to; to fasten upon; as, the fire caught the adjoining building.
    • Catch To engage and attach; to please; to charm. "The soothing arts that catch the fair."
    • Catch To get possession of; to attain. "Torment myself to catch the English throne."
    • Catch To lay hold on; to seize, especially with the hand; to grasp (anything) in motion, with the effect of holding; as, to catch a ball.
    • Catch To reach in time; to come up with; as, to catch a train.
    • Catch To seize after pursuing; to arrest; as, to catch a thief. "They pursued . . . and caught him."
    • Catch To seize with the senses or the mind; to apprehend; as, to catch a melody. "Fiery thoughts . . . whereof I catch the issue."
    • Catch To spread by, or as by, infecting; to communicate. "Does the sedition catch from man to man?"
    • Catch To take captive, as in a snare or net, or on a hook; as, to catch a bird or fish.
    • Catch To take hold; as, the bolt does not catch .
    • Catch To take or receive; esp. to take by sympathy, contagion, infection, or exposure; as, to catch the spirit of an occasion; to catch the measles or smallpox; to catch cold; the house caught fire.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • 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
    • v.t Catch kach to take hold of: to apprehend or understand: to seize after pursuit: to trap or ensnare: to take a disease by infection: to take up anything by sympathy or imitation
    • v.i Catch to be contagious: to be entangled or fastened in anything;—pa.t. and pa.p. caught (kawt)
    • n Catch seizure: anything that seizes or holds: that which is caught: anything worth catching: a sudden advantage taken: a specially English form of musical composition, written generally in three or four parts, and in the canon form—originally synonymous with the round
    • adj Catch infectious: captivating, attractive
    • ***


  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “If you start soon enough, you won't have to run to catch up.”
  • 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.”
  • Ovid
    “A horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Courtship -- A man pursuing a woman until she catches him.”


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.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. cacchen, OF. cachier, dialectic form of chacier, to hunt, F. chasser, fr. (assumend) LL. captiare, for L. capture, V. intens. of capere, to take, catch. See Capacious, and cf. Chase Case a box


In literature:

And let me tell you, you must not try to run away, because if you do Capi and Zerbino would soon catch you.
"Nobody's Boy" by Hector Malot
Petey Simmons, five feet four in his pajamas, and Jiggs Jarley, champion catch-as-catch-can-and-hold-on-tight waltzer in college, came next.
"At Good Old Siwash" by George Fitch
The catch pan is put under the drum to catch the surplus solder.
"Elements of Plumbing" by Samuel Dibble
If an elephant wished to catch an express train he could not gallop, but he could catch the train.
"Children's Literature" by Charles Madison Curry
Number Three may catch either Two or One, but neither of them may catch him.
"Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium" by Jessie H. Bancroft
But just as he is easily killed when you catch him, in the same proportion is he hard to catch.
"Popular Adventure Tales" by Mayne Reid
Catch claret wine, catch cracker, catch cake.
"Desert Conquest" by A. M. Chisholm
When he sought to raise the catch, however, it resisted.
"The Young Railroaders" by Francis Lovell Coombs
Dad's been out hooking an' catched five dozen mackerel before breakfast.
"A Poor Man's House" by Stephen Sydney Reynolds
This thought we are to catch and hold, and not rest satisfied with the mere outer form of the story.
"Homer's Odyssey" by Denton J. Snider

In poetry:

Night swallows what’s old
when faith catches fire.
The will reawakes,
sparks leap ever higher.
"The Will" by Eberhard Arnold
Catch this flask of old Jamaica
In your iron paw,
While I fill a pipe and take a
Seat to have a jaw.
"The Patrol And The Gold-Digger" by Adam Lindsay Gordon
I pray it will know truth,
if truth catches in its cup
and yet I pray, as a child would,
that the surgery take.
"The Break Away" by Anne Sexton
To sit in happy indolence,
To rest upon the oars,
And catch the heavy earthy scents
That blow from summer shores;
"Piscataqua River" by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
Sometimes upon the inner sky
We catch a doubtful shine:
A mote or star? A flash in the eye
Or jewel of God's mine?
"Songs of the Spring Nights" by George MacDonald
Around you in blue mystery
The eternal mountains lean,
Shoulder each other, rise to catch
The depths of your serene;
"Immortal Eve - III" by Manmohan Ghose

In news:

More than likely you've been chained to your desk all day, catching up on work, thinking about the weekend.
Live music to catch this week.
Fazoli's is finally catching on to what Olive Garden has known for years: Give the people free breadsticks.
Fazoli's is finally catching on to what Olive Garden has known for years: Give the people free breadsticks .
The tallest catches the first pink light of dawn.
Ninth Precinct heroes are honored for a great save and a key catch.
Microsoft can't catch a break with the launch of Windows Phone 8.
A brown bear catches a salmon in this file photo.
A brown bear catches a salmon at Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park in Alaska.
The bag can't have ink on it or it will catch fire.
Fall a good time to catch big brown trout in Utah.
In the dark comedy, two hit men (Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) hide out in the medieval Belgian town until their boss (Ralph Fiennes) catches up with them.
Hillary Clinton catches Obama speech in Brunei .
Catie Kroskob managed to wrangle in this rascally escapee during the catch-it-rabbits category at the Morgan County Fair on Wednesday night.
Race to Catch a Buckyball .

In science:

While this very crude calculation is probably not justifiable for a single galaxy, which we may be catching during the peak of cluster formation, once a larger sample becomes available this would be a reasonable approach.
The Formation of Star Clusters
Thus we see that the reptating chain develops a rich and delicate pattern of shapes and correlations which are not so easy to catch in simple describing formulae.
Reptation in the Rubinstein-Duke model: the influence of end-reptons dynamics
We find that the reptating chain develops a rich and delicate pattern of shapes and correlations which are not so easy to catch in simple describing formulae.
Reptation in the Rubinstein-Duke model: the influence of end-reptons dynamics
The only small catch to this algorithm is that the total number of stubs must be even if we are not to have one stub left over at the end of the pairing process.
Random graphs as models of networks
However there is a catch for the player: this oracle is ‘noisy’.
Parrondo Games and Quantum Algorithms