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1. Of friends or relatives, to update one another on life events that occurred since the last time seeing each other. It was so lovely catching up with you; it's been years since we were last together! You and I must really catch up with each other sometime soon.
2. To make up the difference between oneself and someone or something, so as to be at an equal level, status, or point of progress. If we speed up, we might be able to catch up with the car ahead of us! The home team enjoyed a 21-point lead at half time, but their opponents have been steadily catching up.
3. To give someone the latest information on a particular topic or situation. Anna caught me up already, so I know what to expect in this morning's meeting.
4. To make an effort to become current with something after having fallen behind. I missed this week's episode, but I'll catch up over the weekend. You need to catch up on all the homework you missed while you had the flu.
5. To be fascinated, enthralled, or charmed by something. I'm sorry, I was too caught up in the emotion of the moment to hear what you were saying.
6. To lift or elevate something unexpectedly. A gust of wind caught up the letter and blew it right out of my hand.
7. To find (and, of police, to arrest) someone after a period of time trying to track that person down. The bank robber disappeared for almost a week, but the police caught up with him at the border of Mexico.
8. To be involved or mired in something. I refuse to get caught up in another one of your stupid schemes!
9. slang To stop using drugs. Yeah, she used to use drugs, but she's catching up now.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
(on someone or something) to learn the news of someone or something. I need a little time to catch up on the news. We all need to catch up on what Tony has been doing. I need some time to catch up.
(on something) to bring one's efforts with something up-to-date; to do the work that one should have done. I need a quiet time so I can catch up on my work. He started school late and now has to catch up.
(to someone or something) and catch up (with someone or something) to move faster in order to reach someone or something who is moving in the same direction. The red car caught up with the blue one. Bill caught up with Ann, and they walked to the bank together.
(with someone or something) Go to catch up (to someone or something).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Suddenly snatch or lift up, as in The wind caught up the kite and sent it high above the trees. [First half of 1300s]
2. Also, catch up with. Come from behind, overtake. This usage can be either literal, as in You run so fast it's hard to catch up with you, or figurative, as in The auditors finally caught up with the embezzler. [Mid-1800s]
3. Become involved with, enthralled by, as in We all were caught up in the magical mood of that evening. [Mid-1600s]
4. Also, catch up on or with . Bring or get up to date, as in Let's get together soon and catch up on all the news, or Tonight I have to catch up with my correspondence. [First half of 1900s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To move fast enough to attain the same progress as someone or something: The runner caught up to the leader on the last lap of the race.
2. To become equal or on a par with someone or something: I finally caught up with my brother in height.
3. To bring some activity to completion or to a state of currentness: On the weekends, I catch up on reading the daily newspapers because I don't have time during the week.
4. To bring someone up to date; brief someone: Let me catch you up on all the gossip. I read the Sunday newspaper to catch up on the news.
5. To seize or lift something suddenly: The wind caught up the umbrella and carried it off. I wasn't holding onto the balloon very tightly, and the wind caught it up and sent it sailing away.
6. To involve someone in something, often unwillingly. Used chiefly in the passive: The senator was caught up in the scandal.
7. To captivate or enthrall someone. Used chiefly in the passive: Perhaps I shouldn't have proposed to you, but I was caught up in the mood of the evening.
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.
in. to break the drug habit; to withdraw from drugs. (Drugs.) I just know I can catch up, if I can just get through the first week.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.