Catch-up



an effort to reach or pass a norm, especially after a period of delay:
After the slowdown there was a catch-up in production.
an effort to catch up with or surpass a competitor, as in a sports contest.
an instance of catching up.
intended to keep up with or surpass a norm or competitor:
a catch-up pay raise to offset inflation.
play catch-up, Informal. to make a special effort to overcome a late start, a liability, or the advantage a competitor has:
After Russia launched the first space satellite, other countries had to play catch-up.
Contemporary Examples

But though they played the rest of the game in catch-up mode, their machine had been programmed to win all along.
The Week’s Best Longreads: The Daily Beast Picks for November 10, 2012 David Sessions November 9, 2012

His catch-up attempt was unsuccessful—he was never able to free himself of the Republican party straight-jacket.
Obama Headlines From Around the World The Daily Beast November 4, 2008

I talked about the end of European catch-up on US productivity levels.
What Should Spain Have Done Differently? David Frum June 26, 2012

While the U.S. is an important cyber warfare partner with Israel, it has a lot of catch-up to do to remain competitive.
Where is America’s Cyber Warfare Leadership? Ryan Prior June 25, 2012

His tumor had spread, and the next six years became a painful game of catch-up, one that he ultimately failed.
Why Smart People Are Dumb Patients Jean Kim July 13, 2014

Historical Examples

Mrs. Reed was finishing a block of patchwork, catch-up work, when she had to wait two minutes.
A Little Girl in Old New York Amanda Millie Douglas

n.

“a working to overtake a leading rival,” by 1971, probably a figurative use from U.S. football in reference to being behind in the score. From verbal phrase catch up, which was used from early 14c. in sense “raise aloft” and from 1855 in sense “overtake;” see catch (v.) + up (adv.).

Related Terms

play catch-up

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  • Catch-ups

    an effort to reach or pass a norm, especially after a period of delay: After the slowdown there was a catch-up in production. an effort to catch up with or surpass a competitor, as in a sports contest. an instance of catching up. intended to keep up with or surpass a norm or competitor: a […]

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    the chance or optional weight of a contestant, as contrasted with a weight fixed by agreement or rule. adjective (wrestling) of or relating to a contest in which normal weight categories have been waived by agreement



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  • Catch you on the flip side

    interjection an exclamation that one will see or talk to someone later or tomorrow Usage Note slang sentence I will see you or talk to you later or tomorrow



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