What Does Get Caught up in Something Mean?

Caught Up in Something Meaning

Definition: To become involved in something, especially in a scandal; to be so focused on an activity that one is unaware of other things.

The phrase to get caught up in something has a few different meanings. It can be used to refer to scandal or involvement in legal proceedings. The phrase may also be used to mean that someone is so focused on or distracted by something that he or she is oblivious to other things.

Ways to Use To Get Caught up in Something

It is important to note that caught up is a phrasal verb. This means that caught up has a different meaning than caught. If someone is caught up in something, he is involved in it in some way.

what does caught up meanThere are two meanings of the phrasal verb caught up in English. To catch up means to complete tasks that one should have finished already. When caught up is used to refer to a person’s involvement in something, it will always be used in the past tense and will be followed by a prepositional phrase.

When someone is caught up in something, he is entangled in a situation or scandal.

When someone is caught up on something, he has finished all of the tasks on which he was behind.

Examples of To Get Caught up in Something

caught up with workThis conversation between two coworkers demonstrates how the phrase is used to refer to scandal and legal proceedings.

Dirk: Do you know why the vice president hasn’t shown up for work this week?

Joseph: I heard he got caught up in a libel lawsuit.

The following example conversation between father and son shows how this phrase is used.

Dad: Why didn’t you mow the lawn as I asked you to?

Wally: Sorry, Dad. I was so caught up in my homework that I forgot about it.

More Examples

  • He has been caught on video making anti-Semitic rants, got caught up in an extortion case involving the Girl Scouts and was accused of threatening to beat up another Cookie Monster. –LA Times
  • Thieves “are taking advantage of the laxness of drivers who get caught up in the frenzy of holiday shopping,” said Robert Sinclair Jr., spokesman for AAA Northeast. –NY Post

Summary

The English phrase to get caught up in something means to become involved in or preoccupied by something.

[i]
[i]