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English definition of “catch”

catch

verb uk   /kætʃ/ (caught, caught) us  

catch verb (TAKE HOLD)

A1 [I or T] to take hold of something, especially something that is moving through the air: I managed to catch the glass before it hit the ground. We saw the eagle swoop from the sky to catch its prey. Our dog ran past me and out of the house before I could catch it. He caught hold of my arm. We placed saucepans on the floor to catch (= collect) the drops of water coming through the roof.UK The batsman was caught (out) (= someone in the other team caught the ball when he hit it).Capturing or taking possession of thingsGetting, receiving and accepting

catch verb (STOP ESCAPING)

B1 [T] to find and stop a person or animal that is trying to escape: Great pressure was put on the police to catch the terrorists as soon as possible. [+ -ing verb] Two armed men were caught trying to cross the frontier at night. They were happy because they had caught a lot of fish that day.figurative I can see you're busy right now, so I'll catch you (= speak to you) later.Capturing or taking possession of thingsGetting, receiving and accepting

catch verb (NOTICE)

B2 [T] to discover, see, or realize something, especially someone doing something wrong: [+ -ing verb] He caught her reading his old love letters. If the virus is caught (= discovered) in time, most patients can be successfully treated. I caught sight of/caught a glimpse of (= saw for a moment) a red coat in the crowd.Using the eyesEyesight, glasses and lensesThe eye and surrounding areaPerceptive catch sb's attention, imagination, interest, etc. B2 to make someone notice something and feel interested: A ship out at sea caught his attention. Her pictures caught my imagination.Attracting and temptingAttractiveSexual attraction be caught without sth to not have something, especially when it is needed: He doesn't like to be caught without any biscuits in the house.Lacking thingsScarce, inadequate and not enoughEssential or necessary you won't catch sb doing sth said to mean that you will certainly not see someone doing a particular thing or in a particular place: You won't catch me at work after four o'clock. You won't catch Carla eating in a cheap restaurant, oh no.Impossible and improbable

catch verb (TRAVEL)

A1 [T] to travel or be able to travel on an aircraft, train, bus, etc.: He always catches the 10.30 a.m. train to work. She was worried that she'd arrive too late to catch the last bus home.Travelling

catch verb (BECOME INFECTED)

A2 [T] to get an illness, especially one caused by bacteria or a virus: He caught a cold on holiday. A lot of children in the school caught measles last term.Passing on illness and causing disease

catch verb (STICK)

C2 [I or T] to stick somewhere, or to make something stick somewhere: The sleeve of my jacket (got) caught on the door handle and ripped. Her hair got caught (up) in her hairdryer.Tearing and breaking into pieces

catch verb (BE IN TIME)

[T] to manage to be in time to see or do something: I went home early to catch the beginning of the programme. You'll have to run if you want to catch the post (= send a letter before the post has been collected).Succeeding, achieving and fulfilling

catch verb (HEAR/SEE)

[T] to manage to hear something: I couldn't catch what the announcer said, with all the other noise going on.Using the ears

catch verb (HIT)

[T] to hit something, especially without intending to: His head caught the edge of the table as he fell. Medical teams were caught in the crossfire of the opposing armies.Hitting against objects accidentally and colliding

catch verb (INVOLVE)

get caught up in sth C2 to become involved in something, often without wanting to: They were having an argument and somehow I got caught up in it.Taking part and getting involvedGetting involved for one's own benefit or against others' will

catch verb (BREATHE)

catch your breath to stop breathing for a moment, or to begin to breathe correctly again after running or other exercise: I had to sit down and catch my breath.Breathing and stopping breathing

catch verb (BE TOUCHED BY)

catch the sun UK If you have caught the sun, the sun has made your skin a slightly darker brown or red colour: You've caught the sun on the back of your neck.The skin, and skin colour catch a few rays (also catch some rays) informal to stay outside in the sun for a period of time: I'm going out to catch a few rays before lunch.The skin, and skin colour catch the light If something catches the light, a light shines on it and makes it look shiny.Emitting and casting light

catch verb (BURN)

catch fire B1 to start burning: For reasons which are not yet known, the factory caught fire late yesterday evening.Burning, burnt and on fire [I] to begin to burn: This wood's too wet, the fire won't catch.Burning, burnt and on fire

catch

noun uk   /kætʃ/ us  

catch noun (PROBLEM)

[S] a hidden problem or disadvantage: Free food? It sounds too good to be true. What's the catch?Difficult things and peoplePreventing and impeding

catch noun (SOMETHING CAUGHT)

[C] an amount of fish caught: The fishermen were disappointed with their catch that day.Capturing or taking possession of thingsGetting, receiving and accepting [S] informal a person who is considered to be very suitable for a relationship: Her new boyfriend's not much of a catch really, is he?Romantic and sexual partners

catch noun (FASTENING DEVICE)

[C] a small device on a door, window, bag, etc. that keeps it fastenedLocks and locksmithing

catch noun (STIFFNESS)

[C or U] Indian English a feeling of stiffness in part of your body: She would complain of catch in the joints during winter.
(Definition of catch from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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