to play catch-up

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - play catch-up

"to play catch-up"

to make a special effort to reach the same quality, standard or level that someone or something has


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - play catch-up

Two students are talking ...

Student 1:  Good to see you back.

Student 2:  Thanks.  I was really sick with the flu all week.

Student 1:  I suppose that, now, you are going to have to play catch-up with the work you missed.

Student 2:  Yes.  I will need to work extra hard to study everything I missed.  Could you lend me your lecture notes, please?

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - play catch-up

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  I see that our competitors have put a very innovative product on the market.

Colleague 2:  Too bad we don't have anything that competes. I guess that's what happens when we cut the research and development budget.

Colleague 1:  I think we will have to put some money into R&D and then play catch-up with the market.

Colleague 2:  It will require some extra special effort and some time to develop the required technology to regain our market share.

to play catch-up - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   1,325   click for frequency by country

to play catch-up - Gerund Form:

Playing catch-up with competitors is not a good position to be in.

to play catch-up - Examples:

1)  Seems like lately I've been playing catch-up reading my favorite blogs, but I do read you when I can. 

2)  ... pitched the idea to management, and they rejected it. Now they're playing catch-up to a great degree.

3)  Apple has gone from being the leader to playing catch-up.

4)  No other industry gets away with shipping a defective product and then playing catch-up to repair or replace it.

5)  The Obama administration is turning to these questions, but it's playing catch-up for years of lost time.

6)  If we don't want to find ourselves playing catch-up in the global competition for the cutting-edge, high-growth industries of tomorrow, we need ...

7)  ... but Beijing has been playing catch-up to the traditional space superpowers since its first manned flight in 2003.

8)  ... week behind in my other classes. Then I spend the next week playing catch-up to get ready for a Calc II test I have that week.

9)  It was a game in which Detroit was constantly playing catch-up and never got a handle on the lead. 

10)  In a lot of ways, Apple's been playing catch-up in recent years. It was slow to dual-core, it was slow to LTE.

11)  I receive several hundred emails per week and it's difficult to play catch-up. I don't want my team losing time waiting for my input.

12)  The new console also helps Nintendo play catch-up to its competitors, as the Wii had less horsepower and lower quality graphics than ...

13)  Data and cloud computing, however, open source drives innovation while proprietary products play catch-up.

14)  high-performance computing industry to challenge US dominance, but it doesn't want to play catch-up. It wants to leapfrog ...

15)  The eurozone crisis predominates this afternoon, as the FTSE seeks to play catch-up with European markets, having managed to get through the morning in relatively better shape ...

16)  It's growing, but Sprint will play catch-up for a while.

17)  I play catch-up from being out of the office all day on Thursday.

18)  ... his teacher was demanding homework be completed in cursive. Rather than play catch-up on his penmanship, Thomas refused outright.

19)  ... back the way you were before. Now, it's too late to play catch-up.

20)  It's time to play catch-up and accept that some real planning for this community needs to occur if ...