What does the word "catch" mean in this sentence?

There must be a catch/incentive.

I looked it up in the dictionary the closest meaning to it seems to be

a hidden problem or disadvantage in an apparently ideal situation

I am still unsure if that's the exact meaning.

  • I don't understand why you have catch/incentive in your example. Would you explain more about where you found the sentence?
    – ColleenV
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 13:18
  • Here is the story. One of our company competitors which did not have a general good rate in product review suddenly got 20 reviews all at the same day leading them to score higher. Our company CEO reacted with "There must be a catch/incentive"
    – Maryam
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 22:25
  • 1
    Ah - that is interesting. So your CEO was thinking there were some shady dealings going on.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 22:28

2 Answers 2


You are quite right. A catch means a hidden trap. It shows that the situation isn't as good as it seems to be.


"a catch" is similar to "too good to be true." For instance, a great job offer except that the pay is low or a free lunch but you have to sit through a boring presentation.

An incentive is a sweetener. To make the presentation more attractive, they're going to feed us lunch!

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