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English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'

Catch on   /kætʃ ɑn/   Listen
Catch on

Understand, usually after some initial difficulty.  Synonyms: cotton on, get it, get onto, get wise, latch on, tumble, twig.
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WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Catch on" Quotes from Famous Books

... it has snowed! I declare, if I'd ha' known, I'd ha' waited till somebody had tracked a path for us. But I guess it's just as well we didn't; you look as like a ghost as you can, Miss Fleda. You'll be better when you get some breakfast. You'd better catch on to my arm I'll waken up the seven sleepers but what I'll have something to put life into ...
— Queechy, Volume II • Elizabeth Wetherell

... accomplish this, or at least they acted well the part of striving against such difficulty. One would dash wildly towards the fire and retreat; another would lie as close to the ground as a frightened lizard and endeavor to wriggle himself up to the fire; others sought to catch on their wands the sparks flying in the air. One approached the flaming mass, suddenly threw himself on his back with his head to the fire, and swiftly thrust his wand into the flames. Many were the unsuccessful attempts; but, at length, one by one, they all succeeded in burning the ...
— The Mountain Chant, A Navajo Ceremony • Washington Matthews

... an admittedly amazing coincidence, Dennis, the man, was caught in a precisely similar fashion. As a "river-driver" Dennis was beginning to "catch on." But he had not yet learned what he could or could not do. River-drivers wear immense boots, heavily spiked. Dennis upon this occasion had been sent with a crew to what is technically called "sweep ...
— Bunch Grass - A Chronicle of Life on a Cattle Ranch • Horace Annesley Vachell

... little notion of mine, sort of an insurance scheme for colds; you pay so much a week, and when you've got a cold you get a bottle of Cough Linctus so long as you can produce a substantial sniff. See? But Lord! they've no capacity for ideas, they don't catch on; no Jump about the place, no Life. Live!—they trickle, and what one has to do ...
— Tono Bungay • H. G. Wells

... had to be out,—and he had to be out night after night in Seattle,—I would hear his footstep coming down the street; it would wake me, though he wore rubber heels. He would fix the catch on the front-door lock, then come upstairs, calling out softly, "You awake?" He always knew I was. Then, sitting on the edge of the bed, he would tell all the happenings since I had seen him last. Once in a while he'd sigh and say, "A little ...
— An American Idyll - The Life of Carleton H. Parker • Cornelia Stratton Parker

... second nature. He had a stripped and naked feeling, as if all virtue had gone out of him—life meaningless, mind-striking work. Sunlight streamed in on him, but he felt cold. The scene he had passed through had gone from him already, what was before him would not materialise, he could catch on to nothing; and he felt frightened, as if he had been hanging over the edge of a precipice, as if with another turn of the screw sanity would have failed him. 'I'm not fit for it,' he thought; 'I mustn't—I'm not fit for it.' The cab sped on, and in mechanical procession trees, ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... he was gone, Hannah appeared. Apparently, she had overheard the conversation. "Well, did you catch on?" ...
— The Preacher of Cedar Mountain - A Tale of the Open Country • Ernest Thompson Seton

... brass button; an' the one that took it serious—as you might say— lost sight o' the other for years, an' meantime picked up with a little religion, an' made oath with hisself that all the profits o' the job (for there were profits) should come into innocent hands— You catch on ...
— Poison Island • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (Q)

... be easy to set the trap. Draw the hoop back to the opposite end, tucking the netting into the groove; lower the spindle over it, resting it between the two little plugs, and securing its end beneath the catch on the platform. If the bait, [Page 83] consisting of bread-crumbs, berries, insects, or the like, be now sprinkled on the platform, the trap is ready for its feathered victim. It will easily be seen that the slightest weight on either side of ...
— Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making • William Hamilton Gibson

... of the seed. As an illustration, ask the pupils to find the seeds of the burdock and to describe what the burr is really like. They find that the burr is a little basket filled with seeds. The basket has many little hooks which catch on the hair of animals and, since these hooks turn inwards, they serve to hold the basket in such a position that all the seeds are not likely to drop out at one time. The pupils should also observe that these baskets are quite firmly attached to the parent plant until the ...
— Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study • Ontario Ministry of Education

... more properly into other hands than mine. Only I would put in a caution—do not let us mingle self-conceit with our congratulations; and, above all, do not let us 'rest and be thankful.' There is much to be done yet. Listening ears can catch on every side vague sounds that tell of unrest and of the stirrings into wakefulness of 'The spirit of the years to come, Yearning to ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... can tell what you can catch on a rainy day," the boy replied slowly. "Uncle Joe greased the grindstone to-day for the first time ...
— Hidden Treasure • John Thomas Simpson

... know, I must be in some corner or other of the picture, be the foreground what it may. At this time, when the hawthorn is all out and the nightingales are singing, even here, I think of the quantities of May we gathered for my wreaths, and the little scrap of the nightingale's song we used to catch on the lawn between tea and bedtime. I have been writing a great deal of poetry—at least I mean it for such, and I hope it is not all very bad, as my father has expressed himself surprised and pleased at some things I read him lately. I wish I could send you some of my perpetrations, ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... in the mountains passed him. He tried to flag 'em. Yes, sir—that's what he tried to do. But they didn't catch on. Might have, but didn't. Next day they read in the papers about a boy and Irish setter being lost. Then they caught on and telephoned ...
— Frank of Freedom Hill • Samuel A. Derieux

... terrier, Fido a black poodle, Jock a fox-terrier, and the borzoi, of course, will be a borzoi. During the third verse Cousin Teresa will come on alone, and the dogs will be drawn across by themselves from the opposite wing; then Cousin Teresa will catch on to the singer and go off-stage in one direction, while the dogs' procession goes off in the other, crossing en route, which is always very effective. There'll be a lot of applause there, and for the fourth verse Cousin Teresa will come on in ...
— Beasts and Super-Beasts • Saki

Words linked to "Catch on" :   get it, grok, dig, get the picture, cotton on, compass, grasp, apprehend, change, savvy, comprehend

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