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[kach-uhp] /ˈkætʃˌʌp/
an effort to reach or pass a norm, especially after a period of delay:
After the slowdown there was a catch-up in production.
an effort to catch up with or surpass a competitor, as in a sports contest.
an instance of catching up.
intended to keep up with or surpass a norm or competitor:
a catch-up pay raise to offset inflation.
play catch-up, Informal. to make a special effort to overcome a late start, a liability, or the advantage a competitor has:
After Russia launched the first space satellite, other countries had to play catch-up.
Origin of catch-up
1835-45, Americanism; noun, adj. use of verb phrase catch up Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for catch-up
  • Of late, the government has been trying to play catch-up.
  • If inflation rises temporarily during catch-up, that is tolerated.
  • Today, we're playing a game of catch-up by dedicating more money to paying off debt and paying up savings.
  • If their peers are racing ahead, they can play catch-up.
  • Doctors found themselves playing catch-up every step of the way.
  • But it is a race in which they are playing catch-up.
  • The post-war period is rich in examples of blistering catch-up growth.
  • The easy catch-up gains are exhausted and the economy slows or gets stuck.
  • Poorer economies have more potential for catch-up growth.
  • When a country or a company is playing catch-up it can look at what others are doing and do it better.
Word Origin and History for catch-up

"a working to overtake a leading rival," by 1971, probably a figurative use from U.S. football in reference to being behind in the score. From verbal phrase catch up, which was used from early 14c. in sense "raise aloft" and from 1855 in sense "overtake;" see catch (v.) + up (adv.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for catch-up


Related Terms

play catch-up

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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