What Does Catch Some Rays Mean?

Catch Some Ray Meaning

Definition: To get some sunshine, especially for the purpose of relaxing.

To catch some rays means to relax outside on a sunny day. The phrase originated in the surfer subculture of 1980s America.

Although it can be used in any verb tense, it is most commonly used in the present and future tenses. People tend to use this phrase to talk about vacations or enjoying a warm day.

Ways to Use of To Catch Some Rays

The word rays in this phrase refers to the rays of the sun. The word catch has several meanings in English, both literal and idiomatic.

summer catch phrasesIn this phrase, catch means to acquire. Catch carries the same meaning in some other English idioms. Another way of saying to catch some rays is to sunbathe. This does not literally mean to take a bath outside. Instead, it means to go outside and enjoy the sun, specifically when tanning or relaxing.

This phrase may also be used in several tenses. This phrase is most often used in the future or present tense, although it can be used in the past tense. For example, Jean may be catching some rays right now, or she might catch some rays tomorrow when she goes to the baseball game. She might say she caught some rays last year when she went to Barbados.

Examples of To Catch Some Rays

meaning of catching raysPeople commonly use this phrase when talking about going on vacation or relaxing outside on a warm day. However, the phrase can be used in any context that involves being in the sunshine for the express purpose of relaxing.

This sample conversation between two friends demonstrates the correct use of this phrase.

Jack: We’re going to Tampa to catch some rays this weekend. Do you want to come?

Tom: Sure! Sounds like fun.

More Examples

  • A few of the rooms on the top floor also feature large balconies, the perfect spot to catch some rays or entertain friends. –USA Today
  • There’s plenty of room to lay out beach towels and catch some rays. –Washington Post


The English phrase to catch some rays means to relax in the sun. It can be used in different tenses since it is a verb phrase.