To catch fire

To catch fire
Catch Catch, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Caught}or {Catched}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Catching}. Catched is rarely used.] [OE. cacchen, OF. cachier, dialectic form of chacier to hunt, F. chasser, fr. (assumend) LL. captiare, for L. capture, V. intens. of capere to take, catch. See {Capacious}, and cf. {Chase}, {Case} a box.] [1913 Webster] 1. To lay hold on; to seize, especially with the hand; to grasp (anything) in motion, with the effect of holding; as, to catch a ball. [1913 Webster]

2. To seize after pursuing; to arrest; as, to catch a thief. ``They pursued . . . and caught him.'' --Judg. i. 6. [1913 Webster]

3. To take captive, as in a snare or net, or on a hook; as, to catch a bird or fish. [1913 Webster]

4. Hence: To insnare; to entangle. ``To catch him in his words''. --Mark xii. 13. [1913 Webster]

5. To seize with the senses or the mind; to apprehend; as, to catch a melody. ``Fiery thoughts . . . whereof I catch the issue.'' --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

6. To communicate to; to fasten upon; as, the fire caught the adjoining building. [1913 Webster]

7. To engage and attach; to please; to charm. [1913 Webster]

The soothing arts that catch the fair. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

8. To get possession of; to attain. [1913 Webster]

Torment myself to catch the English throne. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

9. To take or receive; esp. to take by sympathy, contagion, infection, or exposure; as, to catch the spirit of an occasion; to catch the measles or smallpox; to catch cold; the house caught fire. [1913 Webster]

10. To come upon unexpectedly or by surprise; to find; as, to catch one in the act of stealing. [1913 Webster]

11. To reach in time; to come up with; as, to catch a train. [1913 Webster]

{To catch fire}, to become inflamed or ignited.

{to catch it} to get a scolding or beating; to suffer punishment. [Colloq.]

{To catch one's eye}, to interrupt captiously while speaking. [Colloq.] ``You catch me up so very short.'' --Dickens.

{To catch up}, to snatch; to take up suddenly. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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