To capture or seize, especially after a chase. To take by or as if by trapping or snaring. To discover or come upon suddenly, unexpectedly, or accidentally: He was caught in the act of stealing. To become cognizant or aware of suddenly: caught her gazing out the window. To take hold of, especially forcibly or suddenly; grasp: caught me by the arm; caught the reins. To grab so as to stop the motion of: catch a ball. To overtake: The green car caught me on the straightaway. To reach just in time; take: caught the bus to town; catch a wave. To hold, as by snagging or entangling. To cause to become suddenly or accidentally hooked, entangled, or fastened: caught my hem on the stair. To hold up; delay: was caught in traffic for an hour. To hit; strike: a punch that caught me in the stomach. To check (oneself) during an action: I caught myself before replying. To become subject to or to contract, as by exposure to a pathogen: catch a cold. To become affected by or infused with: caught the joyous mood of the festival. To suffer from the receipt of (criticism, for example): caught hell for being late. To take or get suddenly, momentarily, or quickly: We caught a glimpse of the monarch. To hear or listen to: caught the news bulletin on the radio; didn't catch the end of your sentence To grasp mentally; apprehend: I don't catch your meaning. To apprehend and reproduce accurately by or as if by artistic means: an impressionist who caught the effects of wind and water in his paintings. To attract and fix; arrest: couldn't catch their attention; caught the teacher's eye. To charm; captivate. To deceive: failed to be caught by their fraudulent schemes. Informal To go to see (a performance, for example): caught the midnight show. To get (something required), usually quickly or for a brief period: catch some sleep.