to catch someone in the act

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - catch in the act

"to catch someone in the act"

to discover someone in the process of doing something wrong


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - catch in the act

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  How's your husband doing with his diet?

Friend 2:  He told me that all was well and that he was following his diet.

Friend 1:  But?

Friend 2:  I was awoken last night because I heard noises in the kitchen.  When I went to look, I caught my husband in the act with a big piece of cake in his hands.

Friend 1:  Oops!

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - catch in the act

A police officer and criminal are talking ...

Police Officer:  You may as well surrender.

Criminal:  Why should I surrender? I haven't done anything wrong.

Police Officer:  I've caught you in the act!  You have a gun in your hand and are about to break-in.

to catch someone in the act - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   283   click for frequency by country

to catch someone in the act - Gerund Form:

Catching your coworker in the act of stealing office supplies puts you in a difficult position.

to catch someone in the act - Examples:

1)  ... or daughter comes home with ill-gotten gains from the recent looting and you catch them in the act. So do you hand your own offspring over to the police?

2)  ... from breaking into your office, but remote surveillance systems may help you catch them in the act.

3)  The frustrating thing is that I have suspects, but unless I catch them in the act, there isn't much I can do.

4)  ... initially think about a private investigator running surveillance on a cheating spouse to catch him in the act with photographic or video evidence ...

5)  ... is a blackguard and a smuggler, although British Customs will have to catch him in the act to prove the latter.

6)  If you are the one caught in the act, chances are your boss will probably be putting all the blame on you while ...

7)  The legislation advocated proceeding with an arrest or an intervention if the perpetrator is caught in the act.

8)  ... but those headaches are nothing in comparison to the nightmare that being caught in the act evading taxes would be.

9)  Simply denying guilt doesn't make it disappear. When you have been caught in the act, it's too late to cover up.

10)  ... its owner had been stealing equipment to set up a non-union factory and got caught in the act.

11)  Realising that they had been caught in the act, they both bolted away from the scene.

12)  Having been caught in the act and red-faced over his affair with Kristen Stewart, film director Rupert Sanders is desperate ...

13)  In 1993, NBC News was caught in the act rigging pickup trucks to explode and burn in order to support a news program.

14)  ... vice president for five years, and he only resigned when he was caught in the act taking cash bribes across his desk in the White House.

15)  ... he owned a dog again. He didn't announce it until he was caught in the act with a box of Milkbones on his kitchen table in a photo that he tweeted.

16)  ... after he realized he'd been had, and had been caught in the act on video, cooperating with people who tricked him into believing they were planning on ...

17)  You engaged in ongoing deception and you did not stop until you got caught in the act.

18)  ... that he misled the police over a traffic offence, remains unpunished after being caught in the act feeding journalists damaging material about his Cabinet colleague Theresa May.

19)  ... of a rebellious toddler. That was the case throughout his career: When caught in the act, he says in all seriousness: It wasn't me.

20)  He changed his statement was he got caught in the act.