What's the difference between
Enter two words to compare and contrast their definitions, origins, and synonyms to better understand how those words are related.

Twitch vs Catch - What's the difference?

twitch | catch | Related terms |

In intransitive terms the difference between twitch and catch

is that twitch is to perform a twitch; spasm while catch is to get pregnant.

In transitive terms the difference between twitch and catch

is that twitch is to spot or seek out a bird, especially a rare one while catch is to attract and hold (a faculty or organ of sense).



Etymology 1

From (etyl) twicchen, from (etyl) twiccian, from (etyl) ).


  • A brief, small (sometimes involuntary) movement out of place and then back again; a spasm.
  • I saw a little twitch in the man's face, and knew he was lying.
  • (informal) Action of spotting or seeking out a bird, especially a rare one.
  • (farriery) A stick with a hole in one end through which passes a loop, which can be drawn tightly over the upper lip or an ear of a horse and twisted to keep the animal quiet during minor surgery.
  • Derived terms
    * nervous twitch


  • To perform a twitch; spasm.
  • * (rfdate) — [http://www.mindspring.com/~randyhoward/new_page_6.htm]
  • "Why is it that you twitch whenever I say Faith?"
  • * 1922 , (Margery Williams), (The Velveteen Rabbit)
  • *:Their feet padded softly on the ground, and they crept quite close to him, twitching their noses...
  • To jerk sharply and briefly.
  • to twitch somebody's sleeve for attention
  • * Alexander Pope
  • Thrice they twitched the diamond in her ear.
  • To spot or seek out a bird, especially a rare one.
  • * 1995 , Quarterly Review of Biology vol. 70 p. 348:
  • "The Birdwatchers Handbook ... will be a clear asset to those who 'twitch' in Europe."
  • * 2003 , Mark Cocker, Birders: Tales of a Tribe [http://books.google.com/books?id=tv-Noj1Fvc0C], ISBN 0802139965, page 52:
  • "But the key revelation from twitching that wonderful Iceland Gull on 10 March 1974 wasn't its eroticism. It was the sheer innocence of it."
  • * 2005 , Sean Dooley, The Big Twitch: One Man, One Continent, a Race Against Time [http://books.google.com/books?id=fWLmpqL4EMsC], ISBN 1741145287, page 119:
  • "I hadn't seen John since I went to Adelaide to (unsuccessfully) twitch the '87 Northern Shoveler, when I was a skinny, eighteen- year-old kid. "
    Usage notes
    When used of birdwatchers by ignorant outsiders, this term frequently carries a negative connotation.
    Derived terms
    * atwitch

    Etymology 2

    alternate of quitch


  • couch grass, Elymus repens ; a species of grass, often considered as a weed.
  • catch



  • (countable) The act of seizing or capturing. (jump)
  • The catch of the perpetrator was the product of a year of police work.
  • (countable) The act of catching an object in motion, especially a ball.
  • The player made an impressive catch .
    Nice catch !
  • (countable) The act of noticing, understanding or hearing.
  • Good catch . I never would have remembered that.
  • (uncountable) The game of catching a ball. (jump)
  • The kids love to play catch .
  • (countable) A find, in particular a boyfriend or girlfriend or prospective spouse.
  • Did you see his latest catch ?
    He's a good catch .
  • (countable) Something which is captured or caught. (jump) (jump)
  • The fishermen took pictures of their catch .
    The catch amounted to five tons of swordfish.
  • (countable) A stopping mechanism, especially a clasp which stops something from opening.
  • She installed a sturdy catch to keep her cabinets closed tight.
  • (countable) A hesitation in voice, caused by strong emotion.
  • There was a catch in his voice when he spoke his father's name.
  • It sounds like a great idea, but what's the catch ?
    Be careful, that's a catch question.
  • (countable) A crick; a sudden muscle pain during unaccustomed positioning when the muscle is in use.
  • I bent over to see under the table and got a catch in my side.
  • (countable) A fragment of music or poetry. (jump)
  • * {{quote-book, 1852, Mrs M.A. Thompson, chapter=The Tutor's Daughter, Graham's American Monthly Magazine of Literature, Art, and Fashion, page=266 citation
  • , passage=In the lightness of my heart I sang catches of songs as my horse gayly bore me along the well-remembered road.}}
  • (obsolete) A state of readiness to capture or seize; an ambush.
  • * {{quote-book, 1678,
  • , passage=You lie at the catch again: this is not for edification.}}
  • * T. Fuller
  • The common and the canon law lie at catch , and wait advantages one against another.
  • (countable, agriculture) A crop which has germinated and begun to grow.
  • * {{quote-book, 1905, , Eighth Biennial Report of the Board of Horticulture of the State of Oregon, page=204 citation
  • , passage=There was a good catch of rye and a good fall growth.}}
  • (obsolete) A type of strong boat, usually having two masts; a ketch.
  • * 1612 , John Smith, Map of Virginia , in Kupperman 1988, p. 158:
  • Fourteene miles Northward from the river Powhatan, is the river Pamaunke, which is navigable 60 or 70 myles, but with Catches and small Barkes 30 or 40 myles farther.
  • (countable, music) A type of humorous round in which the voices gradually catch up with one another; usually sung by men and often having bawdy lyrics.
  • * 1610 , , act 3 scene 2
  • Let us be jocund: will you troll the catch / You taught me but while-ere?
  • * {{quote-book, 1966, Allen Tate, T. S. Eliot: The Man and His Work, page=76 citation
  • , passage=One night, I remember, we sang a catch , written (words and music) by Orlo Williams, for three voices. }}
  • (countable, music) The refrain; a line or lines of a song which are repeated from verse to verse. (jump)
  • * {{quote-book, 2003, Robert Hugh Benson, Come Rack! Come Rope!, page=268 citation
  • , passage=The phrase repeated itself like the catch of a song. }}
  • (countable, cricket, baseball) The act of catching a hit ball before it reaches the ground, resulting in an out.
  • * {{quote-news, 1997, May 10, Henry Blofeld, Cricket: Rose and Burns revive Somerset, The Independent citation
  • , passage=It was he who removed Peter Bowler with the help of a good catch at third slip.}}
  • (countable, cricket) A player in respect of his catching ability; particularly one who catches well.
  • * {{quote-news, 1894, September 16, , To Meet Lord Hawke's Team, The New York Times citation
  • , passage=
  • (countable, rowing) The first contact of an oar with the water.
  • * {{quote-news, 1935, June 7, Robert F. Kelley, California Crews Impress at Debut, The New York Times, page=29 citation
  • , passage= They are sitting up straighter, breaking their arms at the catch' and getting on a terrific amount of power at the ' catch with each stroke.}}
  • (countable, phonetics) A stoppage of breath, resembling a slight cough.
  • * {{quote-book, 2006, Mitsugu Sakihara et al., Okinawan-English Wordbook citation
  • , passage=The glottal stop or glottal catch is the sound used in English in the informal words uh-huh 'yes' and uh-uh 'no'.}}
  • Passing opportunities seized; snatches.
  • * John Locke
  • It has been writ by catches with many intervals.
  • A slight remembrance; a trace.
  • * Glanvill
  • We retain a catch of those pretty stories.


    * (jump) seizure, capture, collar, snatch * grasp, snatch * observation * prize, find; conquest, beau * (jump) haul, take * stop, chock; clasp, latch * snag, problem; trick, gimmick, hitch * (jump) snatch, fragment; snippet, bit * (jump) chorus, refrain, burden

    Derived terms

    * bycatch * catch fence * catchful * catchy * crowd catch


  • (lb) To capture, overtake.
  • #(lb) To capture or snare (someone or something which would rather escape). (jump)
  • #:
  • #(lb) To entrap or trip up a person; to deceive.
  • #*1611 , :
  • #*:And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.
  • # To marry or enter into a similar relationship with.
  • #*1933 , (Sinclair Lewis), Ann Vickers , p.108:
  • #*:The publicsaid that Miss Bogardus was a suffragist because she had never caught a man; that she wanted something, but it wasn't the vote.
  • #*2006 , Michael Collier and Georgia Machemer, Medea , p.23:
  • #*:As for Aspasia, concubinage with Pericles brought her as much honor as she could hope to claim in Athens..
  • #(lb) To reach (someone) with a strike, blow, weapon etc.
  • #:
  • #*{{quote-news, year=2011, date=September 28, author=Jon Smith, work=BBC Sport
  • , title= Valencia 1-1 Chelsea , passage=The visitors started brightly and had an early chance when Valencia's experienced captain David Albeda gifted the ball to Fernando Torres, but the striker was caught by defender Adil Rami as he threatened to shoot.}}
  • #(lb) To overtake or catch up to; to be in time for.
  • #:
  • #(lb) To discover unexpectedly; to surprise (someone doing something).
  • #:
  • #(lb) To travel by means of.
  • #:
  • #*1987 , , In the Name of the Father , p.111:
  • #*:After about a kilometer I caught a taxi to Santa Croce.
  • #
  • #*2002 , Orpha Caton, Shadow on the Creek , pp.102-103:
  • #*:Had Nancy got caught with a child? If so she would destroy her parent's dreams for her.
  • (lb) To seize hold of.
  • #
  • #:
  • #*, III.2:
  • #*:Her aged Nourse, whose name was Glaucè hight, / Feeling her leape out of her loathed nest, / Betwixt her feeble armes her quickly keight .
  • #(lb) To take or replenish something necessary, such as breath or sleep.
  • #:
  • #(lb) To grip or entangle.
  • #:
  • #(lb) To be held back or impeded.
  • #:
  • #*
  • #*:Orion hit a rabbit once; but though sore wounded it got to the bury, and, struggling in, the arrow caught the side of the hole and was drawn out. Indeed, a nail filed sharp is not of much avail as an arrowhead; you must have it barbed, and that was a little beyond our skill.
  • #(lb) To engage with some mechanism; to stick, to succeed in interacting with something or initiating some process. (jump)
  • #:
  • #(lb) To have something be held back or impeded.
  • #:
  • #(lb) To make a grasping or snatching motion (at).
  • #:
  • #(lb) Of fire, to spread or be conveyed to.
  • #:
  • #
  • #*1906 , Arthur W. Stevens, Practical Rowing with Scull and Sweep , p.63:
  • #*:Stop gathering, in that gradual fashion, and catch the water sharply and decisively.
  • #
  • #:
  • # To contact a wave in such a way that one can ride it back to shore.
  • #*2001 , John Lull, Sea Kayaking Safety & Rescue , p.203:
  • #*:If you are surfing a wave through the rocks, make sure you have a clear route before catching the wave.
  • #
  • #:
  • (lb) To intercept.
  • #(lb) To seize or intercept a object moving through the air (or, sometimes, some other medium).
  • #:
  • #
  • #*1811 , (Jane Austen), (Sense and Sensibility) , :
  • #*:she internally resolved henceforward to catch every opportunity of eyeing the hair and of satisfying herself,.
  • #
  • #:
  • #
  • #:
  • (lb) To receive (by being in the way).
  • #(lb) To be the victim of (something unpleasant, painful etc.).
  • #:
  • #(lb) To be touched or affected by (something) through exposure.
  • #:
  • #(lb) To be infected by (an illness).
  • #:
  • #(lb) To spread by infection or similar means.
  • #*(Joseph Addison) (1672–1719)
  • #*:Does the sedition catch from man to man?
  • #*(Mary Martha Sherwood) (1775–1851)
  • #*:He accosted Mrs. Browne very civilly, told her his wife was very ill, and said he was sadly troubled to get a white woman to nurse her: "For," said he, "Mrs. Simpson has set it abroad that her fever is catching ."
  • #
  • #:
  • #*2003 , Jerry Dennis, The Living Great Lakes , p.63:
  • #*:the sails caught and filled, and the boat jumped to life beneath us.
  • #(lb) To acquire, as though by infection; to take on through sympathy or infection.
  • #:
  • #(lb) To be hit by something. (jump)
  • #:
  • #(lb) To serve well or poorly for catching, especially for catching fish.
  • #*{{quote-book, year=1877, title= Annual Report of the Ohio State Board of Agriculture, page=135
  • , passage=The nets caught well, and Mr. Deeley reported it the best fishing ground he ever tried.}}
  • # To get pregnant.
  • #:
  • (lb) To take in with one's senses or intellect.
  • #(lb) To grasp mentally: perceive and understand. (jump)
  • #:
  • #*
  • #*:“A tight little craft,” was Austin’s invariable comment on the matron;. ¶ Near her wandered her husband, orientally bland, invariably affable, and from time to time squinting sideways, as usual, in the ever-renewed expectation that he might catch a glimpse of his stiff, retroussé moustache.
  • #(lb) To take in; to watch or listen to (an entertainment).
  • #:
  • #(lb) To reproduce or echo a spirit or idea faithfully.
  • #:
  • (lb) To seize attention, interest.
  • #(lb) To charm or entrance.
  • #*2004 , Catherine Asaro, The Moon's Shadow , p.40:
  • #*:No, a far more natural beauty caught him.
  • #(lb) To attract and hold (a faculty or organ of sense).
  • #:
  • Synonyms

    * (jump) fang, snatch, grab * (jump) capture, take; snare, hook * (jump) take, get


    * drop, release

    Derived terms

    (Terms derived from the verb "to catch") * catchable * catchall * catchbasin * catcher * catch-breath * catch cold * catch a cold * catch a crab * catch a tan * catch as catch can * catch fire * catch it * catch on * catch out * catch over * catch up * caught in the act