catchable, adj.
/kach/, v., caught, catching, n., adj.
1. to seize or capture, esp. after pursuit: to catch a criminal; to catch a runaway horse.
2. to trap or ensnare: to catch a fish.
3. to intercept and seize; take and hold (something thrown, falling, etc.): to catch a ball; a barrel to catch rain.
4. to come upon suddenly; surprise or detect, as in some action: I caught him stealing the pumpkin.
5. to receive, incur, or contract: to catch a cold.
6. to be in time to get aboard (a train, boat, etc.).
7. to lay hold of; grasp; clasp: He caught her arm.
8. to grip, hook, or entangle: The closing door caught his arm.
9. to allow (something) to become gripped, hooked, snagged, or entangled: He caught his coat on a nail.
10. to attract or arrest: The painting caught his fancy. His speech caught our attention.
11. to check or restrain suddenly (often used reflexively): She caught her breath in surprise. He caught himself before he said the wrong thing.
12. to see or attend: to catch a show.
13. to strike; hit: The blow caught him on the head.
14. to become inspired by or aware of: I caught the spirit of the occasion.
15. to fasten with or as if with a catch: to catch the clasp on a necklace.
16. to deceive: No one was caught by his sugary words.
17. to attract the attention of; captivate; charm: She was caught by his smile and good nature.
18. to grasp with the intellect; comprehend: She failed to catch his meaning.
19. to hear clearly: We caught snatches of their conversation.
20. to apprehend and record; capture: The painting caught her expression perfectly.
21. South Midland and Southern U.S. to assist at the birth of: The town doctor caught more than four hundred children before he retired.
22. to become gripped, hooked, or entangled: Her foot caught in the net.
23. to overtake someone or something moving (usually fol. by up, up with, or up to).
24. to take hold: The door lock doesn't catch.
25. Baseball. to play the position of catcher: He catches for the Yankees.
26. to become lighted; take fire; ignite: The kindling caught instantly.
27. to become established, as a crop or plant, after germination and sprouting.
28. catch a crab, (in rowing) to bungle a stroke by failing to get the oar into the water at the beginning or by failing to withdraw it properly at the end.
29. catch at, to grasp at eagerly; accept readily: He caught at the chance to get free tickets.
30. catch a turn, Naut. to wind a rope around a bitt, capstan, etc., for one full turn.
31. catch it, Informal. to receive a reprimand or punishment: He'll catch it from his mother for tearing his good trousers again.
32. catch on,
a. to become popular: That new song is beginning to catch on.
b. to grasp mentally; understand: You'd think he'd catch on that he's boring us.
c. New England. (in cooking) to scorch or burn slightly; sear: A pot roast is better if allowed to catch on.
33. catch out, Chiefly Brit. to catch or discover (a person) in deceit or an error.
34. catch up,
a. to lift or snatch suddenly: Leaves were caught up in the wind.
b. to bring or get up to date (often fol. by on or with): to catch up on one's reading.
c. to come up to or overtake (something or someone) (usually fol. by with): to catch up with the leader in a race.
d. to become involved or entangled with: caught up in the excitement of the crowd.
e. to point out to (a person) minor errors, untruths, etc. (usually fol. by on): We caught the teacher up on a number of factual details.
f. Falconry. to capture for further training (a hawk that has been flown at hack).
g. South Midland and Southern U.S. to harness (a horse or mule).
35. the act of catching.
36. anything that catches, esp. a device for checking motion, as a latch on a door.
37. any tricky or concealed drawback: It seems so easy that there must be a catch somewhere.
38. a slight, momentary break or crack in the voice.
39. that which is caught, as a quantity of fish: The fisherman brought home a large catch.
40. a person or thing worth getting, esp. a person regarded as a desirable matrimonial prospect: My mother thinks Pat would be quite a catch.
41. a game in which a ball is thrown from one person to another: to play catch; to have a catch.
42. a fragment: catches of a song.
43. Music. a round, esp. one in which the words are so arranged as to produce ludicrous effects.
44. Sports. the catching and holding of a batted or thrown ball before it touches the ground.
45. Rowing. the first part of the stroke, consisting of the placing of the oar into the water.
46. Agric. the establishment of a crop from seed: a catch of clover.
47. catchy (def. 3).
[1175-1225; ME cacchen to chase, capture < ONF cachier < VL *captiare, for L captare to grasp at, seek out, try to catch, freq. of capere to take]
Syn. 1. apprehend, arrest. 7. CATCH, CLUTCH, GRASP, SEIZE imply taking hold suddenly of something. TO CATCH may be to reach after and get: He caught my hand. TO CLUTCH is to take firm hold of (often out of fear or nervousness), and retain: The child clutched her mother's hand. TO GRASP also suggests both getting and keeping hold of, with a connotation of eagerness and alertness, rather than fear (literally or figuratively): to grasp someone's hand in welcome; to grasp an idea. TO SEIZE implies the use of force or energy in taking hold of suddenly (literally or figuratively): to seize a criminal; to seize an opportunity. 17. enchant, fascinate, win. 35. capture, apprehension, arrest. 36. ratchet, bolt.
Ant. 1, 7, 35. release.

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English round, or simple perpetual canon, for three or more unaccompanied voices.

Catches were sung by men as a popular pastime in the 16th–19th centuries. Catch texts were often humorous or ribald, and in some instances a pause in the melody in one voice was filled in by the notes and text of another, creating a pun or change of meaning, especially in the late-17th-century Restoration period.

* * *

also called  round  

      perpetual canon designed to be sung by three or more unaccompanied male voices, especially popular in 17th- and 18th-century England. Like all rounds, catches are indefinitely repeatable pieces in which all voices begin the same melody on the same pitch but enter at different time intervals. The name may derive from the caccia, a 14th-century canonic form, or may refer to each singer's “catching” the tune in turn. Catch texts were often humorous or ribald. In some instances a pause in the melody of one voice was filled in by the notes and text of another; this interplay of the voices created new, often bawdy, meanings.

      Literary evidence shows that catch singing was a popular social activity in the 16th century, although the first published collection was Thomas Ravenscroft's (Ravenscroft, Thomas) very successful Pammelia (1609). Two other publications of his also contained catches: Deuteromelia (1609), which included “Three Blind Mice,” and Melismata (1611). Perhaps the most famous of such publications was John Hilton's Catch That Catch Can (1652).

      The zenith of the catch came after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, when the finest composers vied with one another in lavishing ingenuity and indecency on the form. Henry Purcell (Purcell, Henry) ranks supreme on the first account and very high on the second.

      During the 18th century, catch clubs became popular (e.g., the Noblemen's and Gentlemen's Catch Club, founded 1761). The genre became textually more polite and musically insipid, although it remained popular. Most later editions of Restoration catches were bowdlerized, but since the 1950s occasional unexpurgated editions have appeared.

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Universalium. 2010.

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