catch

When you catch something, you grasp it or seize it in your hands, the way you catch a basketball when your friend throws it to you.

As a verb, catch describes grabbing and holding on. Adding the preposition on means you understand something, like when you catch on to your little brother's scheme to get out of doing chores, or to describe something that's getting popular, like a pop song that catches on then becomes a huge hit. If someone tells you there's a catch, it means there is a complication, but if a person is a catch, he or she makes a good romantic partner.

Definitions of catch
  1. verb
    take hold of so as to seize or restrain or stop the motion of
    Catch the ball!”
    synonyms: grab, take hold of
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    types:
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    harpoon
    spear with a harpoon
    fish
    catch or try to catch fish or shellfish
    hook
    catch with a hook
    net, nett
    catch with a net
    intercept, stop
    seize on its way
    crab
    fish for crab
    seine
    fish with a seine; catch fish with a seine
    scallop, scollop
    fish for scallops
    rail
    fish with a handline over the rails of a boat
    brail
    haul fish aboard with brails
    angle
    fish with a hook
    shrimp
    fish for shrimp
    net fish
    fish with nets
    shark
    hunt shark
    trawl
    fish with trawlers
    still-fish
    fish with the line and bait resting still or stationary in the water
    seize
    hook by a pull on the line
    prawn
    fish for prawns
    cut off, cut out
    cut off and stop
    type of:
    clutch, prehend, seize
    take hold of; grab
  2. verb
    succeed in catching or seizing, especially after a chase
    “Did you catch the thief?”
    synonyms: capture, get
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    types:
    recapture, retake
    capture again
    lasso, rope
    catch with a lasso
    type of:
    clutch, prehend, seize
    take hold of; grab
  3. verb
    capture as if by hunting, snaring, or trapping
    “I caught a rabbit in the trap today”
    synonyms: capture
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    types:
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    hunt, hunt down, run, track down
    pursue for food or sport (as of wild animals)
    frog
    hunt frogs for food
    bag
    capture or kill, as in hunting
    batfowl
    catch birds by temporarily blinding them
    rat
    catch rats, especially with dogs
    ensnare, entrap, snare, trammel, trap
    catch in or as if in a trap
    snipe
    hunt or shoot snipe
    whale
    hunt for whales
    ambush, still-hunt
    hunt (quarry) by stalking and ambushing
    turtle
    hunt for turtles, especially as an occupation
    drive
    (hunting) chase from cover into more open ground
    drive
    (hunting) search for game
    rabbit
    hunt rabbits
    fowl
    hunt fowl in the forest
    poach
    hunt illegally
    seal
    hunt seals
    ferret
    hunt with ferrets
    course
    hunt with hounds
    foxhunt
    hunt foxes, on horseback and with dogs
    jack, jacklight
    hunt with a jacklight
    hawk
    hunt with hawks
    falcon
    hunt with falcons
    fowl
    hunt fowl
    gin
    trap with a snare
    forage, scrounge
    collect or look around for (food)
    type of:
    acquire, get
    come into the possession of something concrete or abstract
  4. verb
    attract; cause to be enamored
    synonyms: becharm, beguile, bewitch, captivate, capture, charm, enamor, enamour, enchant, entrance, fascinate, trance
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    types:
    hold
    hold the attention of
    work
    gratify and charm, usually in order to influence
    type of:
    appeal, attract
    be attractive to
  5. verb
    take in and retain
    “We have a big barrel to catch the rainwater”
    Synonyms:
    capture
    capture as if by hunting, snaring, or trapping
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    type of:
    accumulate, amass, collect, compile, hoard, pile up, roll up
    get or gather together
  6. verb
    get or regain something necessary, usually quickly or briefly
    Catch some sleep”
    catch one's breath”
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    type of:
    acquire, get
    come into the possession of something concrete or abstract
  7. verb
    cause to become accidentally or suddenly caught, ensnared, or entangled
    “I caught the hem of my dress in the brambles”
    Synonyms:
    hitch
    hook or entangle
  8. verb
    delay or hold up; prevent from proceeding on schedule or as planned
    “I was caught in traffic and missed the meeting”
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    type of:
    delay, detain, hold up
    cause to be slowed down or delayed
  9. verb
    to hook or entangle
    “One foot caught in the stirrup”
    synonyms: hitch
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    Antonyms:
    unhitch
    unfasten or release from or as if from a hitch
    types:
    snag
    catch on a snag
    type of:
    attach
    cause to be attached
  10. verb
    attract and fix
    “His look caught her”
    “She caught his eye”
    Catch the attention of the waiter”
    synonyms: arrest, get
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    type of:
    attract, draw, draw in, pull, pull in
    direct toward itself or oneself by means of some psychological power or physical attributes
  11. verb
    reach with a blow or hit in a particular spot
    “the rock caught her in the back of the head”
    “The punch caught him in the stomach”
    synonyms: get
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    type of:
    hit
    deal a blow to, either with the hand or with an instrument
  12. verb
    reach in time
    “I have to catch a train at 7 o'clock”
    Synonyms:
    catch up with, overtake
    catch up with and possibly overtake
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    types:
    get
    reach and board
    type of:
    board, get on
    get on board of (trains, buses, ships, aircraft, etc.)
  13. verb
    catch up with and possibly overtake
    “The Rolls Royce caught us near the exit ramp”
    synonyms: catch up with, overtake
  14. verb
    be struck or affected by
    catch fire”
    catch the mood”
    Synonyms:
    get
    suffer from the receipt of
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    type of:
    change
    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
  15. verb
    start burning
    “The fire caught
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    type of:
    catch fire, combust, conflagrate, erupt, ignite, take fire
    start to burn or burst into flames
  16. verb
    contract
    “did you catch a cold?”
    Synonyms:
    contract, get, take
    be stricken by an illness, fall victim to an illness
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    types:
    catch cold
    come down with a cold
    type of:
    contract, get, take
    be stricken by an illness, fall victim to an illness
  17. verb
    suffer from the receipt of
    “She will catch hell for this behavior!”
    synonyms: get
    get, receive
    receive as a retribution or punishment
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    type of:
    ache, hurt, suffer
    feel physical pain
  18. verb
    be the catcher
    “Who is catching?”
    Synonyms:
    grab, take hold of
    take hold of so as to seize or restrain or stop the motion of
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    type of:
    play
    participate in games or sport
  19. noun
    the act of catching an object with the hands
    “Mays made the catch with his back to the plate”
    synonyms: grab, snap, snatch
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    types:
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    fair catch
    (American football) a catch of a punt on the fly by a defensive player who has signalled that he will not run and so should not be tackled
    interception
    (American football) the act of catching a football by a player on the opposing team
    reception
    (American football) the act of catching a pass in football
    rebound
    the act of securing possession of the rebounding basketball after a missed shot
    shoestring catch
    (baseball) a running catch made near the ground
    interlock, interlocking, mesh, meshing
    the act of interlocking or meshing
    type of:
    touch, touching
    the act of putting two things together with no space between them
  20. noun
    the act of apprehending (especially apprehending a criminal)
    synonyms: apprehension, arrest, collar, pinch, taking into custody
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    type of:
    capture, gaining control, seizure
    the act of forcibly dispossessing an owner of property
  21. noun
    anything that is caught (especially if it is worth catching)
    “he shared his catch with the others”
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    type of:
    object, physical object
    a tangible and visible entity; an entity that can cast a shadow
  22. noun
    a person regarded as a good matrimonial prospect
    synonyms: match
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    type of:
    adult, grownup
    a fully developed person from maturity onward
  23. noun
    the quantity that was caught
    “the catch was only 10 fish”
    synonyms: haul
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    type of:
    indefinite quantity
    an estimated quantity
  24. noun
    a restraint that checks the motion of something
    synonyms: stop
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    types:
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    bench hook
    any of various stops on a workbench against which work can be pushed (as while chiseling or planing)
    doorstop, doorstopper
    a stop that keeps open doors from moving
    click, detent, dog, pawl
    a hinged catch that fits into a notch of a ratchet to move a wheel forward or prevent it from moving backward
    trip, tripper
    a catch mechanism that acts as a switch
    type of:
    constraint, restraint
    a device that impede's something's motion
  25. noun
    a fastener that fastens or locks a door or window
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    hasp
    a fastener for a door or lid; a hinged metal plate is fitted over a staple and is locked with a pin or padlock
    hood latch
    a catch that holds the hood of a car shut
    hook
    a catch for locking a door
    latch
    catch for fastening a door or gate; a bar that can be lowered or slid into a groove
    type of:
    fastener, fastening, fixing, holdfast
    restraint that attaches to something or holds something in place
  26. noun
    a break or check in the voice (usually a sign of strong emotion)
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    type of:
    delivery, manner of speaking, speech
    your characteristic style or manner of expressing yourself orally
  27. noun
    a cooperative game in which a ball is passed back and forth
    “he played catch with his son in the backyard”
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    type of:
    game
    an amusement or pastime
  28. verb
    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”
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    type of:
    surprise
    cause to be surprised
  29. verb
    become aware of
    “he caught her staring out the window”
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    type of:
    find, see, witness
    perceive or be contemporaneous with
  30. verb
    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”
    synonyms: get
    get
    apprehend and reproduce accurately
    get
    acquire as a result of some effort or action
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    type of:
    understand
    know and comprehend the nature or meaning of
  31. verb
    detect a blunder or misstep
    synonyms: trip up
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    type of:
    discover, find out, get a line, get wind, get word, hear, learn, pick up, see
    get to know or become aware of, usually accidentally
  32. verb
    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”
    Catch a glimpse”
    synonyms: pick up
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    type of:
    comprehend, perceive
    become aware of through the senses
  33. verb
    see or watch
    Catch a show on Broadway”
    synonyms: see, take in, view, watch
    see
    perceive by sight or have the power to perceive by sight
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    types:
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    visualise, visualize
    view the outline of by means of an X-ray
    spectate
    be a spectator in a sports event
    preview
    watch (a movie or play) before it is released to the general public
    preview
    see or inspect in a preliminary way or in advance
    image
    render visible, as by means of MRI
    type of:
    watch
    look attentively
  34. verb
    perceive by hearing
    “I didn't catch your name”
    synonyms: get
    overhear, take in
    hear, usually without the knowledge of the speakers
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    type of:
    hear
    perceive (sound) via the auditory sense
  35. verb
    hear, usually without the knowledge of the speakers
    synonyms: overhear, take in
    get
    perceive by hearing
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    type of:
    hear
    perceive (sound) via the auditory sense
  36. verb
    apprehend and reproduce accurately
    “She really caught the spirit of the place in her drawings”
    synonyms: get
    get
    grasp with the mind or develop an understanding of
    see moresee less
    type of:
    reproduce
    recreate a sound, image, idea, mood, atmosphere, etc.
  37. verb
    check oneself during an action
    “She managed to catch herself before telling her boss what was on her mind”
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    type of:
    check, contain, control, curb, hold, hold in, moderate
    lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits
  38. noun
    a drawback or difficulty that is not readily evident
    “it sounds good but what's the catch?”
    synonyms: gimmick
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    type of:
    drawback
    the quality of being a hindrance
  39. verb
    spread or be communicated
    “The fashion did not catch
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    type of:
    propagate, spread
    become distributed or widespread
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