Etymology
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catch (n.)

late 14c., "device to hold a latch of a door," also "a trap;" also "a fishing vessel," from catch (v.). Meaning "action of catching" attested from 1570s. Meaning "that which is caught or worth catching" (later especially of spouses) is from 1590s. Sense of "hidden cost, qualification, etc.; something by which the unwary may be entrapped" is slang first recorded 1855 in P.T. Barnum.

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breath (n.)
Old English bræð "odor, scent, stink, exhalation, vapor" (Old English word for "air exhaled from the lungs" was æðm), from Proto-Germanic *bræthaz "smell, exhalation" (source also of Old High German bradam, German Brodem "breath, steam"), perhaps from a PIE root *gwhre- "to breathe; smell."

The original long vowel (preserved in breathe) has become short. Meaning "ability to breathe," hence "life" is from c. 1300. Meaning "a single act of breathing" is from late 15c.; sense of "the duration of a breath, a moment, a short time" is from early 13c. Meaning "a breeze, a movement of free air" is from late 14c.
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catch (v.)

c. 1200, "to take, capture," from Anglo-French or Old North French cachier "catch, capture" (animals) (Old French chacier "hunt, pursue, drive (animals)," Modern French chasser "to hunt;" making it a doublet of chase (v.)), from Vulgar Latin *captiare "try to seize, chase" (also source of Spanish cazar, Italian cacciare), from Latin captare "to take, hold," frequentative of capere "to take, hold," from PIE root *kap- "to grasp."

Its senses in early Middle English also included "chase, hunt," which later went with chase (v.). Of sleep, etc., from early 14c.; of infections from 1540s; of fire from 1734 (compare Greek apto "fasten, grasp, touch," also "light, kindle, set on fire, catch on fire"). Related: Catched (obsolete); catching; caught.

Meaning "act as a catcher in baseball" recorded from 1865. To catch on "apprehend, understand" is 1884, American English colloquial. To catch the eye "draw the attention" is attested by 1718. Catch as catch can has roots in late 14c. (cacche who that cacche might).

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catch-all (n.)

also catchall, "something used as a general receptacle for odds and ends," 1838, from catch (v.) + all.

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Catch-22 (n.)

from the title of Joseph Heller's 1961 novel. In widespread use only after release of the movie based on the book in 1970. The catch (n.) is that a bomber pilot is insane if he flies combat missions without asking to be relieved from duty and thus is eligible to be relieved from duty. But asking to be relieved from duty indicates sanity and thus he must keep flying missions.

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

"That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed.

"It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.
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breath-taking (adj.)
also breathtaking, "thrilling, surprising," 1867, from breath + present participle of take (v.). Phrase take (one's) breath away "leave breathless with astonishment or delight" is from 1864. Breathtaking (n.) "act of taking breaths or a breath" is from 1620s. Related: Breathtakingly.
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catch-up (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," c. 1400 as "to take up suddenly," and by 1846 in sense "get to the same point, overtake;" see catch (v.) + up (adv.).

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breathy (adj.)
1520s, "pertaining to breath," from breath + -y (2). Of voices, "full of breath," from 1883. Related: Breathily; breathiness.
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expiration (n.)

early 15c., expiracioun, "vapor, breath," from Latin expirationem/exspirationem (nominative expiratio/exspiratio) "a breathing out, exhalation," noun of action from past-participle stem of expirare/exspirare "breathe out; breathe one's last" (see expire). Meaning "termination, end, close" is from 1560s.

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