Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

catch - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun     catch pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable] an act of stopping and holding an object moving through the air, especially a ball

    Good catch!

  2. 2
    [uncountable] a game in which children throw a ball to each other
  3. 3
    [countable] [usually singular] a hidden problem or difficulty in something that seems extremely good

    It sounds like a fabulous opportunity, so what’s the catch?

    It is very cheap, but the catch is that you have to be at the airport at 3 in the morning.

  4. 4
    [countable] an object used for fastening something such as a window, door, or container

    a broken window catch

    See also safety catch
  5. 5
    [countable] an amount of fish that have been caught
  6. 6
    [countable] mainly literary a sudden pause in what someone is saying as a result of a strong emotion

    “I love you so much,” he said with a catch in his voice.

  7. 7
    [countable] informal old-fashioned someone who would be an appropriate husband, wife, or partner

    A penniless writer’s not exactly a good catch, is he?

quiz invitation
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a combination of a hotdog and a hamburger in a specially designed bread bun

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a volume of articles, essays, etc., contributed by many authors in honor of a colleague, usually published on the occasion of their retirement, an important anniversary and the like

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play