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From Middle High German vāhen, from Old High German fāhan, a strong verb with past forms fieng, gefangan, from Proto-Germanic *fanhaną. The present stem fang- is derived from the past forms. This development spread from Middle Low German vangen to Central German dialects of early modern German (compare already Old Saxon fangan alongside fāhan). The same happened in hängen (< hāhen), in which, however, the development was reinforced by the existence of two variant verbs and therefore established itself much faster than it did in fangen. (Still today foo is used in many dialects of Swiss German.) Cognate to Dutch vangen, Swedish .


  • IPA(key): /ˈfaŋən/, [ˈfaŋən], [ˈfaŋŋ̩]
  • (file)


fangen ‎(class 7 strong, third-person singular simple present fängt, past tense fing, past participle gefangen, past subjunctive finge, auxiliary haben)

  1. (transitive) to catch (grab something flying in the air)
    Der Torwart fängt den Ball. — “The goalkeeper catches the ball.”
  2. (transitive) to catch; to capture (to take hold of a person or an animal)
    Die Förster fingen das entlaufene Wildschwein. — “The rangers caught the run-away boar.”
  3. (reflexive) to improve in health; do well again; to do better
    Es sah schlecht um sie aus, aber jetzt hat sie sich wieder gefangen.
    It looked quite bad for her, but now she has improved again.
  4. (reflexive) to calm down; to compose oneself
    Wenn du dich gefangen hast, kannst du jetzt essen kommen.
    If you’ve composed yourself, you may come to dinner now.
  5. (colloquial, transitive, with reflexive dative) to catch (a disease; something unpleasant)
    Ich hab mir auf der Kirmes nur ’ne Grippe gefangen.
    All I caught at the fun fair was a flu.
  6. (colloquial, with eine and reflexive dative) to be slapped
    Sag das noch mal und du fängst dir eine.
    Say that again and you’ll catch it.


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Norwegian Bokmål[edit]


fangen m

  1. definite singular of fange

Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]


fangen m

  1. definite singular of fange