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catch hold of

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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
catch /kætʃ/USA pronunciation v., caught/kɔt/USA pronunciationcatch•ing,n. 

v. 
  • [+ object] to seize or capture, esp. after chasing: The police tried for weeks to catch the thief.
  • [+ object] to trap or ensnare:I was caught in a dead-end job.
  • [+ object] to take and hold (something thrown, etc.): She caught the ball.
  • [+ object] to surprise or notice, as in some action: [+ object + verb-ing]I caught them cheating.[+ object]She caught me in the act of cheating on my test.
  • [+ object] to find (someone) in a particular condition, usually missing something:He was caught with his guard down (= He was not prepared).
  • [+ object] to receive, incur, or contract (a disease): He caught a cold at the overnight party.
  • [+ object] to be in time to get aboard:We caught the train at Trondheim.
  • [+ object] to take hold of; clasp: He caught her in an embrace.
  • to (cause to or allow to) become gripped, stuck, or entangled: [+ object]I caught my coat on that nail and it ripped.[no object]My sleeve caught on that nail.
  • [+ object] to attract; charm;
    attract the attention of:She was caught by his winning smile.
  • [+ oneself] to hold (oneself) back or restrain (oneself) suddenly:He had to catch himself so that he wouldn't overreact.
  • [+ object] to see or attend (a show, etc.): Did you catch that new musical?
  • [+ object] to strike; hit: The blow caught him on the head.
  • to fasten with or as if with a catch;
    to (cause to) take hold: [no object]The lock won't catch.[+ object]See if you can catch the lock on the chain.
  • [+ object] to grasp with the intellect; comprehend: I caught the meaning of that joke but didn't dare laugh.
  • [+ object] to hear clearly:I couldn't catch what you said;
    could you repeat that?
  • [+ object] to be aware of (a smell, etc.):I caught a whiff of her perfume.
  • [+ object] to record or represent successfully: This photo caught her expression perfectly.
  • [no object] to become lighted; ignite:The green logs just won't catch.
  • catch at, [+ at + object] to grasp at eagerly:The children caught at the teacher's skirt.
  • catch on, [no object]
    • to become popular:For a long while her songs just didn't catch on.
    • to grasp the meaning; understand:I'm a little slow but eventually I catch on.[+ on + to + object]She didn't catch on to my explanation.
  • catch out, [ + obj + out] to catch or discover in lies or an error:They caught him out in a lie.
  • catch up,
    • [+ up + with/to + object] to overtake someone or something moving:I caught up with her and pulled her arm.
    • [+ up + with + object] to overwhelm suddenly:The truth caught up with him and he realized what he had done.
    • [+ up + on + object] to do enough so that one is no longer behind:He was catching up on his work on weekends.
    • [usually: be + caught + up] to be involved or interested in very strongly:He was caught up in his work and neglected his family.

    n. 
  • [countable] the act of catching.
  • [countable] anything that catches, esp. a device for slowing motion, as a handle on a window.
  • [countable] any tricky or concealed problem or drawback: There must be a catch somewhere.
  • [countable; usually singular] a slight, momentary break or crack in the voice:She answered with a catch in her voice and started to cry.
  • [countable] something caught, as a quantity of fish:We brought home quite a catch.
  • [countable] a person or thing worth getting, esp. as a desirable partner in marriage:What a catch she would be.
  • Games[uncountable] a game in which a ball is thrown from one person to another:We went out in the yard to play catch.
  • idiom
    1. Idioms, Informal Termscatch it, Informal. to receive a reprimand or punishment:You'll really catch it if you don't finish your homework.

    catch•a•ble,adj. 


    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    catch /kætʃ/ vb (catches, catching, caught)
    1. (transitive) to take hold of so as to retain or restrain
    2. (transitive) to take, seize, or capture, esp after pursuit
    3. (transitive) to ensnare or deceive, as by trickery
    4. (transitive) to surprise or detect in an act: he caught the dog rifling the larder
    5. (transitive) to reach with a blow: the stone caught him on the side of the head
    6. (transitive) to overtake or reach in time to board
    7. (transitive) to see or hear; attend
    8. (transitive) to be infected with: to catch a cold
    9. to hook or entangle or become hooked or entangled
    10. to fasten or be fastened with or as if with a latch or other device
    11. (transitive) to attract or arrest: she tried to catch his eye
    12. (transitive) to comprehend: I didn't catch his meaning
    13. (transitive) to hear accurately: I didn't catch what you said
    14. (transitive) to captivate or charm
    15. (transitive) to perceive and reproduce accurately: the painter managed to catch his model's beauty
    16. (transitive) to hold back or restrain: he caught his breath in surprise
    17. (intransitive) to become alight: the fire won't catch
    18. (transitive) to dismiss (a batsman) by intercepting and holding a ball struck by him before it touches the ground
    19. (intransitive) often followed by at: to grasp or attempt to grasp
    20. to take advantage (of), esp eagerly: he caught at the chance
    21. catch itinformal to be scolded or reprimanded
    n
    1. the act of catching or grasping
    2. a device that catches and fastens, such as a latch
    3. anything that is caught, esp something worth catching
    4. the amount or number caught
    5. informal a person regarded as an eligible matrimonial prospect
    6. a check or break in the voice
    7. a break in a mechanism
    8. informal a concealed, unexpected, or unforeseen drawback or handicap
    9. (as modifier): a catch question
    10. the catching of a ball struck by a batsman before it touches the ground, resulting in him being out
    11. 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

    See also catch on, catch out, catch upEtymology: 13th Century cacchen to pursue, from Old Northern French cachier, from Latin captāre to snatch, from capere to seize

    ˈcatchable adj




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