Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “catch”

See all translations

catch

verb
 
/kætʃ/ ( present participle catching, past tense and past participle caught)
A1 to stop something that is moving through the air by getting it in your hands: Try to catch the ball.
A1 to get on a bus, train, etc.: I caught the last train home.
A2 to get an illness or disease: I think I caught a cold from her.
B1 to find and stop a person or animal who is trying to escape: He ran after the dog, but couldn’t catch him.
to stick somewhere, or to make something stick somewhere: My dress got caught on a nail and tore.
catch fire B1 to start burning
catch someone’s attention, interest, etc. to make someone notice something and feel interested: All the noise in the street caught his attention.
to discover someone who is doing something wrong or something secret: She was caught cheating on the test.
(Definition of catch from the Websters Essential Mini Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “catch” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

cold snap

a short period of cold weather

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More