Word of the Day
Apps by Dictionary
Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
Surprise, take unawares. This term is often used in the passive, as in
The United States was really caught napping the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor
. It originated in the mid-1500s as
to be taken napping
also see under:
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Discover our greatest slideshows
Q Without U: 9 Must-Know Terms for...
From the Trenches: Words of World...
13 Essential Literary Terms
8 Words That Are Older Than You...
Browse more topics on our blog
What Is the Difference Between Discreet and Discrete?
Learn the correct uses of these two commonly confused homophones.
What Character Was Removed from the Alphabet?
What mistaken pronunciation gave this character its name?
This small mark has two primary uses: to signify possession or omitted letters.
How Do I Get a Word into the Dictionary?
People invent new words all the time, but which ones actually make it?
Word of the Day
Word Value for
Words With Friends
Nearby words for catch napping
catch a rail
catch a tartar
catch and release
catch as catch can
catch in the act
catch off guard
catch one's breath
catch one's death
catch one's death (of cold)
catch sight of
catch some rays
catch some z's
catch someone flat-footed
catch someone somewhere, doing something, etc
catch someone with someone's hand in the till
catch someone with their pants down
catch someone's eye
catch the drift
catch the wave
catch up with
catch you later
catch you on the flip side