Catch on

catch

[kach]
verb (used with object), caught, catching.
1.
to seize or capture, especially after pursuit: to catch a criminal; to catch a runaway horse.
2.
to trap or ensnare: to catch a fish.
3.
to intercept and seize; take and hold (something thrown, falling, etc.): to catch a ball; a barrel to catch rain.
4.
to come upon suddenly; surprise or detect, as in some action: I caught him stealing the pumpkin.
5.
to receive, incur, or contract: to catch a cold.
6.
to be in time to get aboard (a train, boat, etc.).
7.
to lay hold of; grasp; clasp: He caught her arm.
8.
to grip, hook, or entangle: The closing door caught his arm.
9.
to allow (something) to become gripped, hooked, snagged, or entangled: He caught his coat on a nail.
10.
to attract or arrest: The painting caught his fancy. His speech caught our attention.
11.
to check or restrain suddenly (often used reflexively): She caught her breath in surprise. He caught himself before he said the wrong thing.
12.
to see or attend: to catch a show.
13.
to strike; hit: The blow caught him on the head.
14.
to become inspired by or aware of: I caught the spirit of the occasion.
15.
to fasten with or as if with a catch: to catch the clasp on a necklace.
16.
to deceive: No one was caught by his sugary words.
17.
to attract the attention of; captivate; charm: She was caught by his smile and good nature.
18.
to grasp with the intellect; comprehend: She failed to catch his meaning.
19.
to hear clearly: We caught snatches of their conversation.
20.
to apprehend and record; capture: The painting caught her expression perfectly.
21.
South Midland and Southern U.S. to assist at the birth of: The town doctor caught more than four hundred children before he retired.
verb (used without object), caught, catching.
22.
to become gripped, hooked, or entangled: Her foot caught in the net.
23.
to overtake someone or something moving (usually followed by up, up with, or up to ).
24.
to take hold: The door lock doesn't catch.
25.
Baseball. to play the position of catcher: He catches for the Yankees.
26.
to become lighted; take fire; ignite: The kindling caught instantly.
27.
to become established, as a crop or plant, after germination and sprouting.
noun
28.
the act of catching.
29.
anything that catches, especially a device for checking motion, as a latch on a door.
30.
any tricky or concealed drawback: It seems so easy that there must be a catch somewhere.
31.
a slight, momentary break or crack in the voice.
32.
that which is caught, as a quantity of fish: The fisherman brought home a large catch.
33.
a person or thing worth getting, especially a person regarded as a desirable matrimonial prospect: My mother thinks Pat would be quite a catch.
34.
a game in which a ball is thrown from one person to another: to play catch; to have a catch.
35.
a fragment: catches of a song.
36.
Music. a round, especially one in which the words are so arranged as to produce ludicrous effects.
37.
Sports. the catching and holding of a batted or thrown ball before it touches the ground.
38.
Rowing. the first part of the stroke, consisting of the placing of the oar into the water.
39.
Agriculture. the establishment of a crop from seed: a catch of clover.
adjective
40.
catchy ( def 3 ).
Verb phrases
41.
catch at, to grasp at eagerly; accept readily: He caught at the chance to get free tickets.
42.
catch on,
a.
to become popular: That new song is beginning to catch on.
b.
to grasp mentally; understand: You'd think he'd catch on that he's boring us.
c.
New England. (in cooking) to scorch or burn slightly; sear: A pot roast is better if allowed to catch on.
43.
catch out, Chiefly British. to catch or discover (a person) in deceit or an error.
44.
catch up,
a.
to lift or snatch suddenly: Leaves were caught up in the wind.
b.
to bring or get up to date (often followed by on or with ): to catch up on one's reading.
c.
to come up to or overtake (something or someone) (usually followed by with ): to catch up with the leader in a race.
d.
to become involved or entangled with: caught up in the excitement of the crowd.
e.
to point out to (a person) minor errors, untruths, etc. (usually followed by on ): We caught the teacher up on a number of factual details.
f.
Falconry. to capture for further training (a hawk that has been flown at hack).
g.
South Midland and Southern U.S. to harness (a horse or mule).
Idioms
45.
catch a crab, (in rowing) to bungle a stroke by failing to get the oar into the water at the beginning or by failing to withdraw it properly at the end.
46.
catch a turn, Nautical. to wind a rope around a bitt, capstan, etc., for one full turn.
47.
catch it, Informal. to receive a reprimand or punishment: He'll catch it from his mother for tearing his good trousers again.

Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English cacchen to chase, capture < Old North French cachier < Vulgar Latin *captiāre, for Latin captāre to grasp at, seek out, try to catch, frequentative of capere to take

catchable, adjective
outcatch, verb (used with object), outcaught, outcatching.
uncatchable, adjective


1. apprehend, arrest. 7. Catch, clutch, grasp, seize imply taking hold suddenly of something. To catch may be to reach after and get: He caught my hand. To clutch is to take firm hold of (often out of fear or nervousness), and retain: The child clutched her mother's hand. To grasp also suggests both getting and keeping hold of, with a connotation of eagerness and alertness, rather than fear (literally or figuratively): to grasp someone's hand in welcome; to grasp an idea. To seize implies the use of force or energy in taking hold of suddenly (literally or figuratively): to seize a criminal; to seize an opportunity. 17. enchant, fascinate, win. 28. capture, apprehension, arrest. 29. ratchet, bolt.


1, 7, 28. release.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
catch (kætʃ)
 
vb (often foll by at) , catches, catching, caught
1.  (tr) to take hold of so as to retain or restrain: he caught the ball
2.  (tr) to take, seize, or capture, esp after pursuit
3.  (tr) to ensnare or deceive, as by trickery
4.  (tr) to surprise or detect in an act: he caught the dog rifling the larder
5.  (tr) to reach with a blow: the stone caught him on the side of the head
6.  (tr) to overtake or reach in time to board: if we hurry we should catch the next bus
7.  (tr) to see or hear; attend: I didn't catch the Ibsen play
8.  (tr) to be infected with: to catch a cold
9.  to hook or entangle or become hooked or entangled: her dress caught on a nail
10.  to fasten or be fastened with or as if with a latch or other device
11.  (tr) to attract or arrest: she tried to catch his eye
12.  (tr) to comprehend: I didn't catch his meaning
13.  (tr) to hear accurately: I didn't catch what you said
14.  (tr) to captivate or charm
15.  (tr) to perceive and reproduce accurately: the painter managed to catch his model's beauty
16.  (tr) to hold back or restrain: he caught his breath in surprise
17.  (intr) to become alight: the fire won't catch
18.  (tr) cricket to dismiss (a batsman) by intercepting and holding a ball struck by him before it touches the ground
19.  a.  to grasp or attempt to grasp
 b.  to take advantage (of), esp eagerly: he caught at the chance
20.  informal (intr; used passively) to make pregnant
21.  informal catch it to be scolded or reprimanded
22.  slang catch oneself on to realize that one's actions are mistaken
 
n
23.  the act of catching or grasping
24.  a device that catches and fastens, such as a latch
25.  anything that is caught, esp something worth catching
26.  the amount or number caught
27.  informal a person regarded as an eligible matrimonial prospect
28.  a check or break in the voice
29.  a break in a mechanism
30.  informal
 a.  a concealed, unexpected, or unforeseen drawback or handicap
 b.  (as modifier): a catch question
31.  a game in which a ball is thrown from one player to another
32.  cricket the catching of a ball struck by a batsman before it touches the ground, resulting in him being out
33.  music round See canon a type of round popular in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, having a humorous text that is often indecent or bawdy and hard to articulate
 
[C13 cacchen to pursue, from Old Northern French cachier, from Latin captāre to snatch, from capere to seize]
 
'catchable
 
adj

catch on
 
vb
1.  to become popular or fashionable
2.  to grasp mentally; understand

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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

catch
c.1200, from Anglo-Fr. cachier "catch, capture" (animals), from V.L. *captiare "try to seize, chase," freq. of L. capere "to take, hold" (see capable). Sense shifted from original meaning of "chase, hunt." Past tense form caught is rare instance of Eng. strong verb with
Fr. origin, probably infl. by latch, the cognate native verb, which this word replaced. Noun meaning "that which is caught or worth catching" (especially of spouses) is from 1590s. To catch on "apprehend" is 1884, Amer.Eng. colloquial. To catch (someone's) eye is first attested 1813, in Jane Austen. Catch as catch can first attested late 14c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

catch on

  1. Understand, as in Aunt Mary doesn't catch on to any jokes. The verb to catch alone was used with this meaning from Shakespeare's time, on being added in the late 1800s. Also see get it, def. 2.

  2. Become popular, as in This new dance is really beginning to catch on. [Late 1800s]

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