Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Catamenia (kăt`ȧ*mē"nĭ*ȧ) noun plural [ New Latin , from Greek ta` katamh`nia .] (Medicine) The monthly courses of women; menstrual discharges; menses.

Catamenial (- a l) adjective [ Greek katamh`nios monthly; kata` down, back, again + mh`n month.] Pertaining to the catamenia, or menstrual discharges.

Catamite (kăt"ȧ*mīt) noun [ Latin Catamitus , an old form of Ganymedes Ganymede, Greek Ganymh`dhs .] A boy kept for unnatural purposes.

Catamount (-mount) noun [ Cat + mount ; confer Spanish gato montes mountain cat.] (Zoology) The cougar. Applied also, in some parts of the United States, to the lynx.

Catanadromous adjective [ Greek kata` down + 'ana` up + dro`mos running, course.] (Zoology) Ascending and descending fresh streams from and to the sea, as the salmon; anadromous. [ R.]

Catapasm noun [ Greek ..., from ... to besprinkle; kata` down, wholly + ... to strew, or sprinkle.] (Medicine) A compound medicinal powder, used by the ancients to sprinkle on ulcers, to absorb perspiration, etc. Dunglison.

Catapeltic adjective Of or pertaining to a catapult.

Catapetalous adjective [ Prefix cata + petalous .] (Botany) Having the petals held together by stamens, which grow to their bases, as in the mallow.

Cataphonic adjective Of or relating to cataphonics; catacoustic.

Cataphonics noun [ Prefix cata + phonic : confer French cataphonique .] (Physics) That branch of acoustics which treats of reflected sounds; catacoustics.

Cataphract (kat"a*frăkt) noun [ Latin cataphractes , Greek ..., from ... covered, from ... to cover; kata` down, wholly + fra`ssein to inclose.]
1. (Mil. Antiq.) Defensive armor used for the whole body and often for the horse, also, esp. the linked mail or scale armor of some eastern nations.

2. A horseman covered with a cataphract.

Archers and slingers, cataphracts , and spears.
Milton.

3. (Zoology) The armor or plate covering some fishes.

Cataphracted adjective (Zoology) Covered with a cataphract, or armor of plates, scales, etc.; or with that which corresponds to this, as horny or bony plates, hard, callous skin, etc.

Cataphractic adjective Of, pertaining to, or resembling, a cataphract.

Cataphysical adjective [ Prefix cata + physical .] Unnatural; contrary to nature. [ R.]

Some artists . . . have given to Sir Walter Scott a pile of forehead which is unpleassing and cataphysical .
De Quincey.

Cataplasm noun [ Latin cataplasma , Greek ..., from ... to spread over; kata` down, wholly + ... to form, mold.] (Medicine) A soft and moist substance applied externally to some part of the body; a poultice. Dunglison.

Cataplexy noun [ Greek ... amazement: confer Apoplexy .] (Medicine) A morbid condition caused by an overwhelming shock or extreme fear and marked by rigidity of the muscles. -- Cat`a*plec"tic adjective

Catapuce noun [ French] (Botany) Spurge. [ Obsolete]

Catapult noun [ Latin catapulta , Greek ..., probably from kata` down + ... to shake, hurl.]


1. (Mil. Antiq.) An engine somewhat resembling a massive crossbow, used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for throwing stones, arrows, spears, etc.

2. A forked stick with elastic band for throwing small stones, etc.

Cataract noun [ Latin cataracta , catarracles , a waterfall, Greek ..., ..., from ... to break down; in the passive, to fall or rush down (of tumors) to burst; kata` down + ... to break.]
1. A great fall of water over a precipice; a large waterfall.

2. (Surg.) An opacity of the crystalline lens, or of its capsule, which prevents the passage of the rays of light and impairs or destroys the sight.

3. (Machinery) A kind of hydraulic brake for regulating the action of pumping engines and other machines; -- sometimes called dashpot .

Cataractous adjective Of the nature of a cataract in the eye; affected with cataract.

Catarrh noun [ Latin catarrhus , Greek ..., ..., a running down, rheum, from ...; kata` down + ... to flow. See Stream .] (Medicine) An inflammatory affection of any mucous membrane, in which there are congestion, swelling, and an altertion in the quantity and quality of mucus secreted; as, catarrh of the stomach; catarrh of the bladder.

» In America, the term catarrh is applied especially to a chronic inflammation of, and hypersecretion fron, the membranes of the nose or air passages; in England, to an acute influenza, resulting a cold, and attended with cough, thirst, lassitude, and watery eyes; also, to the cold itself.

Catarrhal adjective Pertaining to, produced by, or attending, catarrh; of the nature of catarrh.

Catarrhine noun [ Greek kata`rris with hanging or curved nose; kata` down + "ri`s , "rino`s nose.] (Zoology) One of the Catarrhina , a division of Quadrumana, including the Old World monkeys and apes which have the nostrils close together and turned downward. See Monkey .

Catarrhous adjective Catarrhal. [ R.]

Catastaltic adjective [ Greek ..., from ... to check; kata` down, wholy + ... to set.] (Medicine) Checking evacuations through astringent or styptic qualities.

Catastasis noun [ New Latin , from Greek ..., from ... to set; kata` down + ... to place.]
1. (Rhet.) That part of a speech, usually the exordium, in which the orator sets forth the subject matter to be discussed.

2. (Medicine) The state, or condition of anything; constitution; habit of body.

Catasterism noun [ Greek ..., from ... to place among the stars.] A placing among the stars; a catalogue of stars.

The catasterisms of Eratosthenes.
Whewell.

Catastrophe noun [ Latin catastropha , Greek ..., from ... to turn up and down, to overturn; kata` down + ... to turn.]
1. An event producing a subversion of the order or system of things; a final event, usually of a calamitous or disastrous nature; hence, sudden calamity; great misfortune.

The strange catastrophe of affairs now at London.
Bp. Burnet.

The most horrible and portentous catastrophe that nature ever yet saw.
Woodward.

2. The final event in a romance or a dramatic piece; a denouement, as a death in a tragedy, or a marriage in a comedy.

3. (Geol.) A violent and widely extended change in the surface of the earth, as, an elevation or subsidence of some part of it, effected by internal causes. Whewell.

Catastrophic adjective Of a pertaining to a catastrophe. B. Powell.

Catastrophism noun (Geol.) The doctrine that the geological changes in the earth's crust have been caused by the sudden action of violent physical causes; -- opposed to the doctrine of uniformism .

Catastrophist noun (Geol.) One who holds the theory or catastrophism.

Catawba noun
1. A well known light red variety of American grape.

2. A light-colored, sprightly American wine from the Catawba grape.

Catawbas noun plural ; sing. Catawba . (Ethnol.) An Appalachian tribe of Indians which originally inhabited the regions near the Catawba river and the head waters of the Santee.

Catbird noun (Zoology) An American bird ( Galeoscoptes Carolinensis ), allied to the mocking bird, and like it capable of imitating the notes of other birds, but less perfectly. Its note resembles at times the mewing of a cat.

Catboat noun (Nautical) A small sailboat, with a single mast placed as far forward as possible, carring a sail extended by a gaff and long boom. See Illustration in Appendix.

Catcall noun A sound like the cry of a cat, such as is made in playhouses to express dissatisfaction with a play; also, a small shrill instrument for making such a noise.

Upon the rising of the curtain. I was very much surprised with the great consort of catcalls which was exhibited.
Addison.

Catch transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Caught or Catched ; present participle & verbal noun Catching . Catched is rarely used.] [ Middle English cacchen , Old French cachier , dialectic form of chacier to hunt, French chasser , from (assumend) Late Latin captiare , for Latin capture , V. intens. of capere to take, catch. See Capacious , and confer Chase , Case a box.]


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.

2. To seize after pursuing; to arrest; as, to catch a thief. "They pursued . . . and caught him." Judg. i. 6.

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

4. Hence: To insnare; to entangle. "To catch him in his words". Mark xii. 13.

5. To seize with the senses or the mind; to apprehend; as, to catch a melody. "Fiery thoughts . . . whereof I catch the issue." Tennyson.

6. To communicate to; to fasten upon; as, the fire caught the adjoining building.

7. To engage and attach; to please; to charm.

The soothing arts that catch the fair.
Dryden.

8. To get possession of; to attain.

Torment myself to catch the English throne.
Shak.

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.

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

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

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.

Catch intransitive verb
1. To attain possession. [ Obsolete]

Have is have, however men do catch .
Shak.

2. To be held or impeded by entanglement or a light obstruction; as, a kite catches in a tree; a door catches so as not to open.

3. To take hold; as, the bolt does not catch .

4. To spread by, or as by, infecting; to communicate.

Does the sedition catch from man to man?
Addison.

To catch at , to attempt to seize; to be eager to get or use. "[ To] catch at all opportunities of subverting the state." Addison. -- To catch up with , to come up with; to overtake.

Catch noun
1. Act of seizing; a grasp. Sir P. Sidney.

2. That by which anything is caught or temporarily fastened; as, the catch of a gate.

3. The posture of seizing; a state of preparation to lay hold of, or of watching he opportunity to seize; as, to lie on the catch . [ Archaic] Addison.

The common and the canon law . . . lie at catch , and wait advantages one againt another.
T. Fuller.

4. That which is caught or taken; profit; gain; especially, the whole quantity caught or taken at one time; as, a good catch of fish.

Hector shall have a great catch if he knock out either of your brains.
Shak.

5. Something desirable to be caught, esp. a husband or wife in matrimony. [ Colloq.] Marryat.

6. plural Passing opportunities seized; snatches.

It has been writ by catches with many intervals.
Locke.

7. A slight remembrance; a trace.

We retain a catch of those pretty stories.
Glanvill.

8. (Mus.) A humorous canon or round, so contrived that the singers catch up each other's words.

Catch crop Any crop grown between the rows of another crop or intermediate between two crops in ordinary rotation in point of time. -- Catch"-crop`ping , noun

Radishes . . . are often grown as a catch crop with other vegetables.
Latin H. Bailey.

Catch title A short expressive title used for abbreviated book lists, etc.

Catch-basin noun A cistern or vault at the point where a street gutter discharges into a sewer, to catch bulky matters which would not pass readily through the sewer. Knight.

Catch-meadow noun A meadow irrigated by water from a spring or rivulet on the side of hill.

Catchable adjective Capable of being caught. [ R.]

Catchdrain noun A ditch or drain along the side of a hill to catch the surface water; also, a ditch at the side of a canal to catch the surplus water.

Catcher noun
1. One who, or that which, catches.

2. (Baseball) The player who stands behind the batsman to catch the ball.

Catchfly noun (Botany) A plant with the joints of the stem, and sometimes other parts, covered with a viscid secretion to which small insects adhere. The species of Silene are examples of the catchfly.

Catching adjective
1. Infectious; contagious.

2. Captivating; alluring.

Catching noun The act of seizing or taking hold of.

Catching bargain (Law) , a bargain made with an heir expectant for the purchase of his expectancy at an inadequate price. Bouvier.

Catchment noun A surface of ground on which water may be caught and collected into a reservoir.