be caught napping

(redirected from were caught napping)

be caught napping

To have one's inattention (or, sometimes, literal sleep) exploited or capitalized on by someone else. The other team scored because our defense was caught napping.
See also: caught, nap

be caught napping

If someone is caught napping, they suffer a disadvantage by not being prepared for something when it happens. The security services were clearly caught napping and their response was therefore inadequate. European firms have been caught napping. As a result, they barely control one-tenth of the world market. Note: `Napping' means the same as sleeping or dozing.
See also: caught, nap
References in periodicals archive ?
Rangers were caught napping at the back numerous times and there's a chance they could get caught cold again.
The second came after Shire were caught napping, allowing McLeish a free header.
Lenny Derby's men were caught napping in the opening quarter and defensive uncertainty added to careless loss of possession enabled the visitors to take advantage.
Mr Streeter retorted: "We were caught napping when air strikes began, we will not be caught napping if adequate plans are put in place and implemented.
Then, while most of us were caught napping, something devious and underhanded happened - as it always does: the world changed, our world changed - big time.
SLEEPY youngsters at a Leamington day nursery were caught napping as they raised money for Children in Need.