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past tense and past participle of catch (v.), attested from 14c., predominant after c.1800, replacing earlier catched. A rare instance of English strong verb with a French origin. This might have been by influence of Middle English lacchen (see latch (v.)), which also then meant "to catch" and was a synonym of catch (as their noun forms remain), and which then had past tense forms lahte, lauhte, laught. The influence happened before latch switched to its modern weak conjugation.