caught up


      • become involved in something
        To be involved or entangled in a situation, often without intending to be

      • preoccupied with something
        To be absorbed or engrossed in a particular activity or thought, often to the point of neglecting other responsibilities

    Examples of caught up

    • She finally caught up on all her reading over the weekend.

      This means that the person in question had a backlog of reading material that she had been meaning to get through, and she spent some time over the weekend reading and eliminating that backlog. Consequently, she is now up-to-date on her reading and has nothing left to catch up on in this regard.

    • After years of struggling to keep up with her studies, Sarah finally caught up with her classmates.

      This idiom can also be used to express the idea of achieving parity or similarity with others who may have been doing better or advancing more rapidly. In this particular case, Sarah had been lagging behind her classmates due to some difficulties or distractions, but she eventually overcame them and caught up with the rest of her peers.

    • Despite being tired, my friend didn't let the meeting catch him up.

      This idiom can also be used in a more general sense, in which "catch up" is equivalent to "fall behind." In this case, my friend could have easily let himself become fatigued during a meeting and fail to grasp all the details being discussed. However, he consciously chose to remain focused and attentive, and thus, he did not fall behind or lag behind his colleagues in terms of comprehension or participation.

    • The government has finally caught up with the reality of climate change.

      This idiom can also be applied to broader societal issues or complex phenomena. In this last example, the idiom is used to express that the government has become more informed, aware, and accepting of the fact that climate change is a real and pressing issue, rather than simply dismissing it as a speculative or hypothetical concept.

    • The barista finally caught up with the long line of customers in the morning rush.

      The barista was busy making drinks for the customers as they waited in line, and it took a while for her to serve enough people to finally reach the point where there were no more customers in line.

    • After months of training, the rookie political candidate finally caught up to her opponent's experience on the campaign trail.

      The new candidate had been working hard to learn the ropes of running for office, and with constant practice, she was able to reach the same level as her more seasoned competitor.

    • The writer fell behind on her deadline and had to catch up by pulling an all-nighter to finish her project.

      The writer realized that she had fallen behind schedule and had not made enough progress on her assignment. In order to meet the deadline, she worked through the entire night to finish the project.

    • The tour guide caught up with the rest of the group after getting separated during a nature walk.

      The tour guide became distracted by a group of animals and lost sight of the other members of the group. She then had to hurry to make up the distance and reunite with the others.


    The idiom "caught up" can be used to describe both becoming involved in a situation and being preoccupied with something. It can be used in various contexts, such as work, relationships, or personal interests, to convey a sense of being entangled or absorbed in a particular activity or thought.

    Origin of "caught up"

    The origin of the idiom "caught up" can be traced back to the idea of being ensnared or trapped by something. The word "caught" implies being captured or held by something, while "up" suggests being elevated or lifted. When combined, the idiom conveys the idea of being trapped or lifted into a particular state or situation. Over time, the idiom has evolved to encompass both the idea of becoming involved in something and being preoccupied with it, reflecting the way in which language and expressions change and adapt to new meanings and uses.

    Examples of the idiom "caught up" can be found in literature, music, and everyday conversations, demonstrating its widespread use and relevance in modern language.