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Also, catch-can. taking advantage of any opportunity; using any method that can be applied:
a catch-as-catch-can life, as an itinerant handyman.
without specific plan or order:
They lived catch-as-catch-can.
a style of wrestling in which the contestants are permitted to trip, tackle, and use holds below the waist.
Compare Greco-Roman (def 3).
Historical Examples

Anyhow, drawled the man from catch-as-catch-can, she wont go no more.
Every Man for Himself Norman Duncan

It was catch-as-catch-can in the darkness, and mostly the other fellow could and did.
Astounding Stories, March, 1931 Various

In catch-as-catch-can wrestling between Suffragettes and policemen the English also hold the present championship at all weights.
Cobb’s Bill-of-Fare Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb

Swords, pistols, fists, catch-as-catch-can—what would you like?
Second Plays A. A. Milne

Since then I have been doing business in a catch-as-catch-can way—and getting information and impressions in the same way.
The Affable Stranger Peter McArthur

Still, they all fight alike—rough and tumble, catch-as-catch-can.
Cappy Ricks Peter B. Kyne

The supply of grape juice seems almost unlimited, yet coal is to be had catch-as-catch-can.
Mince Pie

Author: Christopher Darlington Morley

Release Date: October 10, 2004 [eBook #13694]
Christopher Darlington Morley

Are you going to have a waltz, or is it going to be a two-step, or a catch-as-catch-can wrestling match?
Ted Strong in Montana Edward C. Taylor

Is voice culture a sort of catch-as-catch-can with the probabilities a hundred to one against success?
The Head Voice and Other Problems D. A. Clippinger

The men of catch-as-catch-can were incapable of a word; they were amazed beyond speech.
Every Man for Himself Norman Duncan

a style of wrestling in which trips, holds below the waist, etc, are allowed
adjective, adverb
(mainly US & Canadian) using any method or opportunity that comes to hand

A phrase that describes a situation in which people must improvise or do what they can with limited means: “We don’t have enough textbooks for all of the students, so it’ll be catch-as-catch-can.”


Precarious; requiring keen readiness: We lived a catch-as-catch-can life those first few years (1880s+)


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