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To expose one's deception or other wrongdoing. A noun or pronoun can be used between "catch" and "out." I wouldn't lie to the detective—her whole job is to catch you out! The CEO was finally caught out and his embezzlement scandal exposed.
Revealed to have done something, often something undesirable or nefarious. That official has been caught out making inappropriate comments, and yet his colleagues won't take any action against him.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
catch someone out
to discover the truth about someone's deception. The investigator tried to catch me out, but I stuck to my story. The teacher caught out the student and punished him immediately.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
To detect or expose the error, wrongdoing, or shortcoming of someone: The test is designed to catch you out with trick questions. I got caught out in a lie.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.