From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishcatchcatch1 /kætʃ/ ●●● S1 W1 verb (past tense and past participle caught /kɔːt $ kɒːt/) 1 take and holdHOLD a) [intransitive, transitive]HOLD to get hold of and stop an object such as a ball that is moving through the air → throw Stephen leapt up and caught the ball in one hand. ‘Pass me that pen, would you?’ ‘Here you are. Catch!’ The kids were throwing and catching a Frisbee down on the beach. b) [transitive]HOLD to suddenly take hold of someone or something with your hand He caught her elbow to steady her. Miss Perry caught hold of my sleeve and pulled me back.2 STOP/TRAP somebodyfind/stop somebody [transitive] a) CATCHto stop someone after you have been chasing them and not let them get away ‘You can’t catch me!’ she yelled, running away. b) CATCHto find a criminal or enemy and stop them from escaping syn capture State police have launched a massive operation to catch the murderer. If you go back to the city, you’re bound to get caught.3 see somebody doing somethingFIND somebody DOING somethingCATCH [transitive] to see someone doing something that they did not want you to know they were doingcatch somebody doing something I caught him reading my private letters. Gemma turned around and caught the stranger looking at her intently.catch somebody in the act (of doing something) (=catch someone while they are doing something illegal) The gang was caught in the act of unloading the cigarettes. He was caught red-handed (=as he was doing something wrong) taking money from the cash register.catch somebody at it We knew he’d been cheating, but we’d never caught him at it before.4 illness [transitive]GET to get an infectious disease Anton caught malaria in Mali, and nearly died. Many young people are still ignorant about how HIV is caught.catch something from/off somebody/something Typhoid and cholera are often caught from contaminated water supplies. I caught chicken pox off my friend at school.catch your death (of cold) British English spoken (=get a very bad cold) Don’t stand out in the rain. You’ll catch your death.5 → catch somebody by surprise, catch somebody off guard, catch somebody napping/unawares6 → catch somebody with their pants/trousers down7 animal/fish [transitive]CATCH to trap an animal or fish by using a trap, net, or hook, or by hunting it Did you catch any fish? Early settlers caught rabbits and squirrels and even rats in order to survive.8 → catch a train/plane/bus9 not miss somebody/somethingBE IN TIME [transitive]TCM to not be too late to do something, see something, talk to someone etc opp miss I managed to catch her just as she was leaving. I just caught the last few minutes of the documentary. Tumours like these can be treated quite easily if they’re caught early enough.catch the post British English (=post letters in time for them to be collected that day)10 get stuck [intransitive, transitive]NOT MOVING if your hand, finger, clothing etc catches or is caught in something, it gets stuck in it accidentally His overalls caught in the engine. Her microphone was forever getting caught on her clothes.11 → catch somebody’s attention/interest/imagination etc12 → not catch something13 hear [transitive] to manage to hear a sound I caught the muffled thud of a car door slamming in the street.► see thesaurus at hear14 → catch you later15 do/see something [transitive] spoken especially American English to go somewhere in order to do or see something We could catch a movie (=go to a movie). M Records caught his act and signed him immediately.16 → catch a ride17 → you won’t catch me doing something18 → catch it19 → catch a glimpse of somebody/something20 → catch sight of somebody/something21 describe well [transitive]DESCRIBE to show or describe the character or quality of something well in a picture, piece of writing etc syn capture a novel that catches the mood of post-war Britain22 BURNburn a) catch fireBURN if something catches fire, it starts to burn accidentally Two farm workers died when a barn caught fire. b) [intransitive]BURN if a fire catches, it starts to burn For some reason the charcoal wasn’t catching.23 → catch somebody’s eye24 → catch yourself doing something25 hit [transitive]HIT to hit someone in or on a particular part of their body The punch caught him right in the face.26 → be/get caught in/without etc something27 → catch your breath28 container [transitive]KEEP/STORE if a container catches liquid, it is in a position where the liquid falls into it Place the baking sheet under the muffin pan to catch the drips.29 shine [transitive]SHINY if the light catches something or if something catches the light, the light shines on it The sunlight caught her hair and turned it to gold.30 → catch the sun31 wind [transitive] if something catches the wind or the wind catches something, it blows on it Gary swung the sail round to catch the light wind.32 sportSPORT a) [transitive]DSC to end a player’s innings in cricket by catching the ball that is hit off their bat before it touches the ground b) [intransitive]DSB to be the catcher in a game of baseballTHESAURUS – Meaning 2: catch to stop someone who is trying to escape, especially by running after them and then holding themHe raced after her, but he couldn’t catch her.The police caught the bank robbers after a car chase through the city.arrest if the police arrest someone, they take him or her to a police station because they think that person has done something illegalWayne was arrested for dangerous driving.The police arrested him and charged him with murder.apprehend formal if the police apprehend someone they think has done something illegal, they catch him or herThe two men were later apprehended after they robbed another store.The killers were never apprehended.All of the kidnappers were apprehended and convicted. capture to catch an enemy or a criminal in order to keep them as a prisonerThe French king was captured by the English at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356.The gunmen were finally captured after a shoot-out with the police. take somebody prisoner to catch someone, especially in a war, in order to keep them as a prisoner350 soldiers were killed and another 300 taken prisoner.Ellison was taken prisoner by the Germans during the retreat to Dunkirk.trap to make someone go to a place from which they cannot escape, especially by using your skill and intelligencePolice trapped the man inside a bar on the city’s southside.corner to force someone into a place from which they cannot escapeHe was cornered outside the school by three gang members. → catch at something → catch on → catch somebody out → catch up → catch up with somebody→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpuscatch• "Can I see that pen?" "Sure, catch."• They were questioning me about whether I could catch.• A lot of burglars never get caught.• Dion caught a cold on vacation.• I only caught about the last 20 minutes of the movie.• It's a really funny play, but goes too fast to catch all the jokes.• "We went fishing." "Did you catch anything?"• In this way there is less chance of being caught at a disadvantage or being ambushed by circumstances.• They too were caught by surprise.• I managed to catch her just as she was leaving the office.• I didn't catch his first name.• Linder appeared to waver for a moment, like a leaf caught in a breeze.• You caught me, I came willingly, and we enjoyed each other.• "You can't catch me!" she yelled.• "I bet you can't catch me!" yelled Katie, skipping away.• I was about to correct him, but I caught myself in time.• Every time I get caught or arrested I get asthma.• If we're quick, we should still be able to catch our train.• If you call around 8:30, you might catch Shirley.• Brooks was caught smoking in an airplane lavatory and fined $750 dollars.• Denise caught the bride's bouquet.• I think I must have caught the flu from Sarah.• As Yvonne shook her head, her earrings caught the light from the candles.• Before his eyes dull muddy grass turned into soft reflective banks which caught the sun a thousand ways.• From within, I catch the trill of a Pogues song.• I caught their act at the Blue Note Jazz Club.• Did you catch what the book's called?• Go on, jump. I'll catch you.caught hold of• It caught hold of a chair and, with a great deal of grunting, managed to tip it over.• Taking her completely by surprise, he caught hold of her arm and pulled her towards him.• I was just going to, when a guard caught hold of me.• That day, he caught hold of me.• On March 4 she caught hold of the end of her buggy and twice pulled herself to her feet.• He fainted from pain but caught hold of the iron railing of a house and remained erect.• Bowman caught hold of the short lever fastened to the valve and with his last strength pulled it down.get caught• On the wrong side of the knitting, this looks much neater and stops little fingers getting caught!• That way there'd be less chance of getting caught.• Nobody but the kids and I knew about it, and I never got caught by the eagle-eyed press.• Munir Karajah got caught in the crossfire on a riotous day in Hebron earlier this year.• I got caught in the middle of it.• But if we get caught, our lives can be traumatically affected.• And who got caught standing in the rain as gaskets blew and transmissions ground to a halt?• I am painfully aware of how we get caught up in our times and become contaminated by our own hypocrisy.catch somebody doing something• If you get caught stealing in some countries, they cut off your hand.• The officer caught me going 70 miles an hour, so I got a ticket.catch your death (of cold)• And let him catch his death of cold?catch the post• On his return he wrote several letters rather hurriedly because he was anxious to catch the post.getting caught• On the wrong side of the knitting, this looks much neater and stops little fingers getting caught!• That way there'd be less chance of getting caught.• The poorer ones lack the means to get out, and keep getting caught.• Funny thing is, he repeated the mistake in Game 4, getting caught in a rundown between second and third base.• Do you understand the danger of getting caught in the middle? 7.• Be careful of getting caught in the trap of total involvement with your computer.• I could see her debate, trying to decide which was worse: infuriating Rosie or getting caught spying on Lila Sams.• This will prevent it from getting caught up.catch a movie• Would you like to go to dinner, maybe catch a movie?• Would you like to go to dinner, maybe catch a movie?• Area jazz clubs and coffeehouses offer live music while visitors can catch a movie at one of two main theater complexes.