Meaning of “catch” - Learner’s Dictionary

catch

verb uk us /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.
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?
CRIMINAL [ T ]

If the police catch a criminal, they find them and take them away:

These terrorists must be caught.
ILLNESS [ T ]

A2 to get an illness or disease:

I think I've caught a cold.
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.
DISCOVER [ T ]

B2 to discover someone who is doing something wrong or something secret:

informal You won't catch me wearing (= I never wear) a tie.
STICK [ I, T ]

to stick somewhere, or to make something stick somewhere:

My dress caught on the door handle as I was leaving.
COLLECT [ T ]

to collect something that is falling:

I used a bucket to catch the drips.
BE IN TIME [ T ]

to manage to be in time to see or do something:

I only caught the end of the programme.
HEAR [ T ]

to hear or understand something correctly:

I'm sorry. I didn't catch your name.
catch fire
be/get caught

to be unable to avoid something unpleasant:

I got caught in the rain.
catch the sun UK

to burn your skin in the sun:

You've caught the sun on your shoulders.
catch sight of sth

to see something suddenly, often only for a short time:

He caught sight of himself in the mirror.
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

(Definition of “catch verb” from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)