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noun \ˈsner\

Simple Definition of snare

  • : a device that has a loop (called a noose) which gets smaller when the end of it is pulled and that is used to catch animals : a kind of trap

  • : a position or situation from which it is difficult to escape

Full Definition of snare

  1. 1a (1) :  a contrivance often consisting of a noose for entangling birds or mammals (2) :  trap, ginb (1) :  something by which one is entangled, involved in difficulties, or impeded (2) :  something deceptively attractive

  2. 2 [probably from Dutch snaar, literally, cord; akin to Old High German snuor] a :  one of the catgut strings or metal spirals of a snare drumb :  snare drum

  3. 3 :  a surgical instrument consisting usually of a wire loop constricted by a mechanism in the handle and used for removing tissue masses (as tonsils)

Examples of snare

  1. people caught in the snare of drug addiction

  2. <you fell for my clever snare, you fool!>

Origin of snare

Middle English, from Old English sneare, probably from Old Norse snara; akin to Old High German snuor cord and perhaps to Greek narkē numbness

First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Hunting and Fishing Terms



transitive verb

Simple Definition of snare

  • : to catch (an animal) in a snare

  • : to cause (something) to become caught in something (such as a net or trap)

  • : to win or get (something) by skillful action or good luck

Full Definition of snare


  1. 1a :  to capture by or as if by use of a snareb :  to win or attain by artful or skillful maneuvers

  2. 2 :  to entangle or hold as if in a snare <any object that snared his eye — Current Biography>

snar·er noun

Examples of snare

  1. They caught fish and snared seabirds.

  2. Unfortunately, the nets also snare turtles.

  3. They snared first place in the contest.

  4. trying to snare business from competitors

  5. The shortstop snared a high throw from the outfield.

14th Century

First Known Use of snare

14th century

Synonym Discussion of snare

catch, capture, trap, snare, entrap, ensnare, bag mean to come to possess or control by or as if by seizing. catch implies the seizing of something in motion or in flight or in hiding <caught the dog as it ran by>. capture suggests taking by overcoming resistance or difficulty <capture an enemy stronghold>. trap, snare, entrap, ensnare imply seizing by some device that holds the one caught at the mercy of the captor. trap and snare apply more commonly to physical seizing <trap animals> <snared butterflies with a net>. entrap and ensnare more often are figurative <entrapped the witness with a trick question> <a sting operation that ensnared burglars>. bag implies shooting down a fleeing or distant prey <bagged a brace of pheasants>.

Other Hunting and Fishing Terms

Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈsna(ə)r, ˈsne(ə)r\

Medical Definition of snare

  1. :  a surgical instrument consisting usually of a wire loop constricted by a mechanism in the handle and used for removing tissue masses (as tonsils or polyps)

Seen and Heard

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February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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