- catch catch [kætʆ] verb caught PTandPP [kɔːt ǁ kɒːt] [transitive]1. be caught in something to be in a situation that is difficult to escape from:
• The government is caught in the middle of the dispute.
• The yen was caught in a downward spiral.2. catch somebody by surprise/off guard etc to happen when you are not expecting it or not ready to deal with it:
• The sharp turn in share prices caught many investors by surprise.
• Many oil companies were caught flatfooted when oil prices fell sharply with the start of the Gulf War.3. catch a cold informal if a business catches a cold, it begins to have financial problems:
• With the economic downturn, the recruitment industry will catch a cold.catch on phrasal verb [intransitive]1. if a product or an idea catches on, it becomes popular:
• Industry executives believe that the company's products will catch on as customers become more security conscious.
• The idea caught on fast.2. if someone catches on, they begin to understand or realize something:
• Some investors clearly caught on that bad news was in the offing.
• Foreign companies are catching on to the advantages of franchising.
* * *Ⅰ.catch UK US /kætʃ/ verb [T] (caught, caught)● catch sb off guard/by surprise — Cf. catch sb off guard/by surprise● catch sb's eye/catch the eye of sb — Cf. catch the eye of sb● be/get caught up in sth — Cf. get caught up in sthⅡ.catch UK US /kætʃ/ noun [S]► a hidden problem or disadvantage: »
The catch is that during the calendar year you can only make six withdrawals from your account.► a new employee that a company is very pleased to have because they are very valuable: »
He is a super-bright economist who is a real catch for the department.
Financial and business terms. 2012.