catch [transitive] catch somebody/something to capture a person or an animal that tries or would try to escape

The murderer was never caught.

Our cat is hopeless at catching mice.

How many fish did you catch?

The police say they are doing all they can to catch the culprits.

spring [intransitive] (of a person or an animal) to move suddenly and with one quick movement in a particular direction SYNONYM leap

The cat crouched ready to spring.

  • adv./prep. He turned off the alarm and sprang out of bed.

She sprang back in alarm.

Eric sprang forward and tackled the man to the ground.

Everyone sprang to their feet (= stood up suddenly) when the principal walked in.

She sprang from her chair and gave me a warm hug.

The attacker sprang out at her from a doorway.

(figurative) to spring to somebody's defence/assistance (= to quickly defend or help somebody)

maul somebody (of an animal) to attack and injure somebody by tearing their body

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In Vietnamese, we have a word "vồ" that combines 2 actions "spring & catch". Google Translate says "vồ"= maul (source). I am not sure "maul" is the right word.

In English, "spring" means to jump suddenly and doesn't carry the meaning "catching" while "catch" means to capture & doesn't carry the meaning "leap or spring".

So, What word expresses both actions "to spring & catch a prey"?

  • 2
    Does this answer your question? What does it mean when "The troll pounced"? Apr 2, 2020 at 14:27
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica, If I had known that word, I wouldn't have asked my question. The man got that word in his title, while I have never heard it before.
    – Tom
    Apr 2, 2020 at 14:43
  • I understand. But imho it is the word you seek. Apr 2, 2020 at 14:46
  • 1
    I would say that the other question answers this one, but they’re not duplicates because there may be other good words for this.
    – Laurel
    Apr 2, 2020 at 15:08
  • 1
    A good addition to your question would be "The Vietnamese word is xxxxx" and my dictionary translates this as "........" but this isn't helpful because I think that means something different" Is the Vietnamese vồ (translated as "maul"?)]
    – James K
    Apr 2, 2020 at 21:54

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure there is an English word that is exactly equivalent to the Vietnamese word.

"Pounce" is closest. It means to jump at something in order to catch it. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that the hunt was successful. To be clear about what happened, you would have to provide more information, such as, "After stalking the mouse silently, the cat pounced and caught it in her claws." Or, "The cat pounced, but the mouse was too quick for her to catch."

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