Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “catch sb out”

catch sb out

informal
verb uk phrasal verb with catch   /kætʃ/ (caught, caught) us  

(SHOW WRONG)

to show that someone is doing wrong: I suspected he wasn't telling me the truth, and one day I caught him out when I found some letters he'd written.

(TRICK)

to trick someone into making a mistake: The examiner will try to catch you out, so stay calm and think carefully before you speak.

(CAUSE DIFFICULTY)

to put someone in a difficult situation: A lot of people were caught out by the sudden change in the weather.
(Definition of catch sb out from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of catch sb out?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Causing difficulties for oneself or others, but you might be interested in these topics from the Easy and difficult topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “catch sb out” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

for starters

used to say that something is the first in a list of things

Word of the Day

Countability – grammar codes

by Dom Glennon​​,
November 26, 2014
Advices and informations Have you ever noticed strange codes in square brackets on entries in Cambridge Dictionaries Online and wondered what they mean? These are grammar codes, giving you a brief summary of how that word behaves grammatically. More information can be obtained by hovering your cursor over the code, and there’s

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More