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catch on

part of speech: phrase
definition 1: to grasp the meaning of something (often fol by "to").
She gave me a very subtle hint and it took me a few moments to catch on.It always takes him a little while to catch on to my jokes.
definition 2: to discover something; figure out (often fol by "to")
Eventually, the police caught on to what they were doing and came to arrest them.They hoped to give her a surprise party but she caught on almost immediately.
definition 3: to become popular.
The fad quickly caught on all over the country.Some expressions catch on fast and suddenly you're hearing them everywhere.Most of his inventions never caught on with the public.