catch

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catch

1. verb To see, and perhaps apprehend, someone in the act of doing something (often something nefarious). The robbers were arrested when the police caught them looting another house. I don't watch to catch you kids doing this ever again—the tool shed is far too dangerous to play in!
2. verb, slang To see or hear a specific program or event, typically as broadcast on the TV or radio. Did you catch the game last night? What a crazy ending!
3. verb To hear and/or understand something that has been said. I'm sorry, I didn't catch that last part. Can you repeat it?
4. verb To contract a contagious illness. All of my students are sick right now, so I'm not surprised that I've caught a cold, too. With the way you've been sneezing all day, I really hope I don't catch what you have!
5. verb To encounter or meet with someone, typically for the purpose of communicating with them. This usage often suggests that the person is busy or rushed, and therefore may have limited availability. Hey, I'm glad I caught you—how's your mom doing? Peg has to sign off on your expense report, so be sure to catch her before she leaves the office. I'll catch you later, man.
6. verb To receive a punishment or reprimand. The phrase "catch it" is usually used for this usage. If I get home past curfew again, I'm really going to catch it from my parents!
7. verb To notice a problem, error, or inconsistency, often one that is inconspicuous. Oh, Jen caught that spelling error—I never even noticed it.
8. verb To notice or detect something. Did you catch the joke at the beginning of the movie? It was pretty subtle. I opened the window and caught a whiff of dinner cooking next door.
9. verb In baseball or softball, to play the position of catcher. Joe is sick, so we need someone else to catch tonight.
10. verb To reach a mode of transportation before it departs. Of course we hit a major traffic jam when I have a plane to catch! Oh, she did catch the bus—the driver saw her running and waited for her.
11. verb To stop oneself from doing something. In this usage, "catch" is followed by a reflexive pronoun. Bill tripped over the step but managed to catch himself on the railing before falling. I almost asked about her boyfriend when I caught myself, remembering that they had broken up.
12. noun A game in which two or more people throw a ball back and forth between them. Now that the weather is nice, you boys should go outside and play catch.
13. noun A problem, drawback, or hidden detriment, often one that is initially concealed as a means of entrapment. I know this sounds like a great job offer, but there's a pretty big catch—I'd have to move across the country. Why are you selling this for so little? What's the catch?
14. noun An audible break or hesitation in one's voice (typically when one is very emotional). When I heard the catch in her voice, I knew my mom had bad news for me.
15. noun An amount of something that has been caught or captured, such as while fishing. A: "What was your catch today, boys?" B: "Not great, Earl—only five fish."
16. noun The identification or recognition of a problem, error, or inconsistency, often one that is inconspicuous. I never would have noticed that spelling error—good catch!
17. noun An ideal suitor or prospective mate. Tom's a good-looking guy with a six-figure income—he's a real catch!

catch it

To receive a punishment or reprimand. If I get home past curfew again, I'm really going to catch it from my parents!
See also: catch

catch something

Fig. to see or listen to something. I will try to catch that new movie this weekend. Did you catch that radio program about cancer last night?

catch it

to get into trouble and receive punishment. I know I'm going to catch it for denting mom's car when I get home. Bob hit Billy in the face. He really caught it from the teacher for that.
See also: catch

catch it

Also, get it. Receive a punishment or scolding, as in If I forget anything on the shopping list, I'll catch it, or I'm really going to get it when I turn in my paper late. [Colloquial; early 1800s]
See also: catch

ˈcatch it

(British English) (American English catch ˈhell, ˈget it) (spoken) be punished or spoken to angrily about something: If your dad finds out you’ll really catch it!
See also: catch

catch

1. n. a drawback. Okay, that sounds good, but what’s the catch?
2. tv. to view something; to attend something; to hear something. Did you catch Gone with the Wind on TV?

catch it

Informal
To receive a punishment or scolding.
See also: catch
See:
References in classic literature ?
When I had finished the bed, I caught myself looking at him in a fascinated sort of way.
And so I caught myself standing idly and studying him.
But I had no sooner spoken than I caught myself up.
The lady had a perfectly formed nose," I caught myself saying to myself, "hazel eyes, and lips--" and here it occurred to me that to see, for myself, what "the lady" was really like, would be more satisfactory than much speculation.
I caught myself harboring a feeling of hatred toward him which I vainly tried to overcome.
Many a time I have caught myself wondering, when he talks so easily about his travels, what the real thoughts are which lie at the back of his brain.
The ladies in their rich winter dresses, the smart nursery maids, the lovely children, the ever moving crowd skating on the ice of the Round Pond; it was all so exhilarating after what I have been used to, that I actually caught myself whistling as I walked through the brilliant scene
But I have fought--" I started, and then I wished my tongue had been cut from my mouth; for she turned even as I caught myself and ceased, and drawing my silks from her shoulder she held them out to me, and without a word, and with head held high, she moved with the carriage of the queen she was toward the plaza and the doorway of her quarters.
I am no hero--I was fully aware of the danger to which I was exposing myself; and yet I protest that I caught myself laughing under my breath, with the most outrageous inconsistency, at the instant when I began the ascent of the trellis-work.
There was something unearthly about it all, and I caught myself shuddering.
Before an hour had elapsed since the ship had begun to move, having occasion to ask the mate (he stood by my side) to take a compass bearing of the pagoda, I caught myself reaching up to his ear in whispers.
It was not that he had caught me in my solicitude, but that I had caught myself, and in his presence.
If you remember what we were talking about you will hardly believe that I caught myself grinning down at that demure little girl.
The current was more rapid now, the steamer seemed at her last gasp, the stern-wheel flopped languidly, and I caught myself listening on tiptoe for the next beat of the float, for in sober truth I expected the wretched thing to give up every moment.
I dug eagerly, and now and then caught myself actually looking, with something that very much resembled expectation, for the fancied treasure, the vision of which had demented my unfortunate companion.