Catch (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Caught (?) ∨ Catched (); p. pr. & vb. n. Catching. Catched is rarely used.] [OE. cacchen, OF. cachier, dialectic form of chacier to hunt, F. chasser, fr. (assumend) LL. captiare, for L. capture, V. intens. of capere to take, catch. See Capacious, and cf. Chase, Case a box.]


To lay hold on; to seize, especially with the hand; to grasp (anything) in motion, with the effect of holding; as, to catch a ball.


To seize after pursuing; to arrest; as, to catch a thief.

"They pursued . . . and caught him."

Judg. i. 6.


To take captive, as in a snare or net, or on a hook; as, to catch a bird or fish.


Hence: To insnare; to entangle. "To catch him in his words".

Mark xii. 13.


To seize with the senses or the mind; to apprehend; as, to catch a melody.

"Fiery thoughts . . . whereof I catch the issue."



To communicate to; to fasten upon; as, the fire caught the adjoining building.


To engage and attach; to please; to charm.

The soothing arts that catch the fair. Dryden.


To get possession of; to attain.

Torment myself to catch the English throne. Shak.


To take or receive; esp. to take by sympathy, contagion, infection, or exposure; as, to catch the spirit of an occasion; to catch the measles or smallpox; to catch cold; the house caught fire.


To come upon unexpectedly or by surprise; to find; as, to catch one in the act of stealing.


To reach in time; to come up with; as, to catch a train.

To catch fire, to become inflamed or ignited. -- to catch it to get a scolding or beating; to suffer punishment. [Colloq.] -- To catch one's eye, to interrupt captiously while speaking. [Colloq.] "You catch me up so very short." Dickens. -- To catch up, to snatch; to take up suddenly.


© Webster 1913.

Catch (?), v. i.


To attain possession.


Have is have, however men do catch. Shak.


To be held or impeded by entanglement or a light obstruction; as, a kite catches in a tree; a door catches so as not to open.


To take hold; as, the bolt does not catch.


To spread by, or as by, infecting; to communicate.

Does the sedition catch from man to man? Addison.

To catch at, to attempt to seize; to be egger to get or use. "[To] catch at all opportunities of subverting the state." Addison. -- To catch up with, to come up with; to overtake.


© Webster 1913.

Catch, n.


Act of seizing; a grasp.

Sir P. Sidney.


That by which anything is caught or temporarily fastened; as, the catch of a gate.


The posture of seizing; a state of preparation to lay hold of, or of watching he opportunity to seize; as, to lie on the catch.



The common and the canon law . . . lie at catch, and wait advantages one againt another. T. Fuller.


That which is caught or taken; profit; gain; especially, the whole quantity caught or taken at one time; as, a good catch of fish.

Hector shall have a great catch if he knock out either of your brains. Shak.


Something desirable to be caught, esp. a husband or wife in matrimony.



6. pl.

Passing opportunities seized; snatches.

It has been writ by catches with many intervals. Locke.


A slight remembrance; a trace.

We retain a catch of those pretty stories. Glanvill.

8. Mus.

A humorous canon or round, so contrived that the singers catch up each other's words.


© Webster 1913.