past tense and past participle of catch (v.), attested from 14c., predominant after c. 1800, replacing earlier catched. A rare instance of an English strong verb with a French origin. This might have been by influence of Middle English lacchen (see latch (v.)), which also then meant "to catch" and was more or less a synonym of catch (as their noun forms remain), and which then had past tense forms lahte, lauhte, laught. The influence would have happened before latch switched to its modern weak conjugation.
updated on October 24, 2017