What does Catch Mean?

The verb of catch comes from the French word attraper and refers to the action of apprehending, seizing or catching. For example: “The police chief promised to catch the three fugitives”, “I jumped to catch the ball and when I fell I hurt my right foot”, “To catch a prey, this animal can remain hidden among the trees for several hours ”.

The concept is often used to refer to the act of capturing the one who is escaping. The thieves, in this framework, try to flee from the agents of the security forces whose obligation is to catch them. Catching escapees from a prison is also a duty of state authorities.


When a person discovers another that he is committing some kind of fault, they also speak of catching. Suppose a man is walking down the street when he sees his wife kissing another individual. “Catch you! You cannot deny that you are cheating on me, I saw you with my own eyes ”, the victim of the deceit may blurt out.

Many are the films that have made use of this verb for their title. However, among the most significant are the following:
-Catch a murderer. It is a feature film that premiered in 1992 and that comes to adapt a real case. We are referring to that of a man, an exemplary neighbor and always ready to help others, who under that sweet appearance hid something darker. He was a murderer and rapist. Among the actors who made up the cast of this production were Brian Dennehy and Margot Kidder.
-Catch a thief. It is one of the most relevant films in the history of cinema and, specifically, the filmography of Alfred Hitchcock. Cary Grant and Grace Kelly are the main actors in this 1955 film that tells how a retired white-collar thief becomes the main suspect in a series of high-profile thefts. However, he is innocent and to prove it he will not hesitate to help solve them.
-Catch Me If You Can. Steven Spielberg is the one behind this 2002 feature film that is based on the life of a real character: Frank Abagnale Jr. It is about a young man who at just 19 years old had managed to amass a huge fortune after posing as lawyer, airplane pilot, doctor, businessman… Leonardo DiCaprio was in charge of giving life to that protagonist, while Tom Hanks played the policeman who tries to arrest him.

The idea of catching, on the other hand, is used with respect to the act of understanding or interpreting something complex: “I didn’t think it would take so long to catch the new topic that the chemistry teacher explained”, “I’m going to catch it, no worry: in the meantime I will continue reading the instructions ”.

Picking up something in the air, before it falls to the ground, is another action that can be referred to as catching: “If I throw the keys at you from here… do you think you can catch them?” , “The player struggled and dived to catch the ball.