catch as catch can

catch-as-catch-can

[kach-uhz-kach-kan]
adjective
1.
Also, catch-can. taking advantage of any opportunity; using any method that can be applied: a catch-as-catch-can life, as an itinerant handyman.
adverb
2.
without specific plan or order: They lived catch-as-catch-can.
noun
3.
a style of wrestling in which the contestants are permitted to trip, tackle, and use holds below the waist. Compare Greco-Roman ( def 3 ).

Origin:
1885–90

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
catch-as-catch-can
 
n
1.  a style of wrestling in which trips, holds below the waist, etc, are allowed
 
adj, —adv
2.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) using any method or opportunity that comes to hand

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

catch-as-catch-can definition


A phrase that describes a situation in which people must improvise or do what they can with limited means: “We don't have enough textbooks for all of the students, so it'll be catch-as-catch-can.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

catch as catch can

By whatever means or in any way possible, as in There was no formal language program; one simply learned Spanish catch as catch can. This term, in slightly varying versions but with the same meaning, dates from the late 1300s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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