play catch-up

play catch-up

To try to reach the same level of understanding, accomplishment, etc. as others, typically after a late start. I'm sorry, I'm playing catch-up here—how do you know my wife? I just transferred into this class, so now I have to play catch-up with all the material the professor covered in the first few weeks. Thanks to our terrible start, we've been playing catch-up all season.
See also: play

play catch-up

try to equal a competitor in a sporting event.
See also: play

play ˈcatch-up

try to equal somebody that you are competing against in a sport, competition, business, etc: The oil company has spent the last couple of years playing catch-up.We were forced to play catch-up after a bad start to the season.
See also: play
References in periodicals archive ?
"It's not an excuse for what happened last season but it is challenging when you are trying to play catch-up in terms of games."
With many teams near the bottom having to play catch-up, everything is all to play for in the race for the finals.
In an effort to play catch-up, the CIA put a team of its best analysts on the case, sorting through satellite photos, tips from defectors, and electronic intercepts to determine how close North Korea was to possessing intercontinental missiles.
If we have to play catch-up in this fast-paced industry, it's our children who will lose out."