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/ ( past tense and past participle caught)
GET HOLD [T] A1 to stop someone or something that is moving through the air by getting hold of it: Try to catch the ball. She fell backwards but he caught her in his arms.Having in your hands
STOP ESCAPING [T] B1 to find and stop a person or animal who is trying to escape: He ran after his attacker but couldn't catch him. Did you catch many fish today?Capturing or taking possession of thingsGetting, receiving and accepting
CRIMINAL [T] If the police catch a criminal, they find them and take them away: These terrorists must be caught.Capturing or taking possession of thingsGetting, receiving and accepting
ILLNESS [T] A2 to get an illness or disease: I think I've caught a cold.Passing on illness and causing disease
TRANSPORT [T] A1 to get on a bus, train, etc in order to travel somewhere: You can catch the bus from the top of the hill.Boarding and alighting from modes of transport
DISCOVER [T] B2 to discover someone who is doing something wrong or something secret: [+ doing sth] I caught her listening outside the door. informal You won't catch me wearing (= I never wear) a tie.Finding and discovering
STICK [I, T] to stick somewhere, or to make something stick somewhere: My dress caught on the door handle as I was leaving.Placing and positioning an object
COLLECT [T] to collect something that is falling: I used a bucket to catch the drips.Capturing or taking possession of thingsGetting, receiving and accepting
BE IN TIME [T] to manage to be in time to see or do something: I only caught the end of the programme.At the right time
HEAR [T] to hear or understand something correctly: I'm sorry. I didn't catch your name.Using the ears
catch fire B1 to start burningStarting fires
be/get caught to be unable to avoid something unpleasant: I got caught in the rain.Finding and discovering
catch the sun UK to burn your skin in the sun: You've caught the sun on your shoulders.The skin, and skin colourBurning, burnt and on fire
catch sight of sth to see something suddenly, often only for a short time: He caught sight of himself in the mirror.Using the eyesEyesight, glasses and lensesThe eye and surrounding areaPerceptive
HIT [T] to hit something or someone: The ball flew across the garden, and caught me on the chin. →  See also catch sb's eye , catch sb off guard Hitting against objects accidentally and colliding
(Definition of catch verb from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “catch” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

past participle

the form of a verb, usually made by adding -ed, used in some grammatical structures such as the passive and the present perfect

Word of the Day

Euphemisms (Words used to Avoid Offending People)

by Kate Woodford,
March 04, 2015
​​​ We recently looked at the language that we use to describe lies and lying. One area of lying that we considered was ‘being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth’. One reason for not speaking the complete truth is to avoid saying something that might upset or offend people. Words and

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More