to catch someone out

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - catch someone out

"to catch someone out"

to detect or expose the error, wrongdoing, or shortcoming of someone


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - catch someone out

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  Interesting how Jason is always talking about how good he is with Microsoft Excel. I asked him this morning how I could switch columns for rows.  He didn't know how to do it and that is a fairly basic move in Excel.

Colleague 2:  I guess you caught Jason out in his boast about his Excel prowess.

Colleague 1:  Maybe Jason will be more careful with his lying in the future.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - catch someone out

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  How is your husband doing with his diet?

Friend 2:  If you ask him, he will tell you that he is faithful to his diet.

Friend 1:  But?

Friend 2:  Last night, I heard an noise in the kitchen and went down to investigate and found my husband taking a huge piece of cake.

Friend 1:  Guess you caught him out, huh?

to catch someone out - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   713   click for frequency by country

to catch someone out - Gerund Form:

Catching your spouse out in a lie could be a sign of infidelity.

to catch someone out - Examples:

1)  ... and don't cross double lines. But some road rules are different and might catch you out.

2)  Although it is not summer, these temperatures will still catch you out, the temperature is still in its 30's despite being 2 weeks ...

3)  Because it's a weekend, check if the route is possible because closures may catch you out.

4)  ... interviews difficult or awkward questions could come your way. The intention is not to catch you out, but to test how you operate under pressure.

5)  It's like the benefits agency try to catch you out, thinking you are some kind of fraud.

6)  The speaking test won't be trying to catch you out by asking for less common vocabulary.

7)  It starts off as a booby trap which can easily catch you out, but you can turn it back on the enemy ...

8)  I've no problem with outing anyone -- your sins will catch you out in the end, but using it for partisan ends is revolting.

9)  ... thought never crossed my mind when it popped up on there. It caught me out, being a trusting sort of person.

10)  I hid it from my boyfriend for 3 years.. he caught me out one day and made me promise him ...

11)  I would definitely not consider myself naive but the suicide cult angle really caught me out.

12)  The fine weather caught me out, as I was planning on wearing a dress and blazer, but ...

13)  You caught me out with this. I didn't know what it meant.

14)  Other times, however, my pretending caught me out as the enormity of my reality overwhelmed me.

15)  ... them when they have not done anything wrong, in the hope that they will catch them out making a mistake so that the officer can fill their quota of infringement ...

16)  I'll give them a run for their money and hopefully catch them out with a few old tricks.

17)  A lot of job-seekers think that the interviewer is only waiting to catch them out on something they don't know so that they have a reason not ...

18)  If they always have an answer to every question, and you catch them out a few times, they're likely making up answers.

19)  Do not present "evidence", confront them with accusations or try to "catch them out" to prove your case.

20)  ... they have uncovered the most advanced doping programme in sport ever, and they never caught him out in one single test of decades. What a joke.