booby trap


Definition of booby trap

1 : a trap for the unwary or unsuspecting : pitfall
2 : a concealed explosive device contrived to go off when some harmless-looking object is touched

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Other Words from booby trap

booby-trap \ ˈbü-​bē-​ˌtrap How to pronounce booby-trap (audio) \ transitive verb

Synonyms for booby trap



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Examples of booby trap in a Sentence

Someone had rigged a booby trap that blew up the car when the engine was started. We set a booby trap by balancing a bucket of water on top of the door so that it would fall on him when he came in.

Recent Examples on the Web

They were targeted by land mines, booby traps, snipers. Washington Post, "50 years ago, the My Lai massacre shamed the US military," 15 Mar. 2018 They were targeted by land mines, booby traps, snipers. Fox News, "50 years ago, the My Lai massacre shamed the US military," 15 Mar. 2018 Israeli officials say that among the 3,000 explosive devices in the baptism site’s vicinity are also booby traps laid by Palestinian militants. Washington Post, "Area around Jesus’ baptism site being cleared of land mines," 29 Mar. 2018 When the property was discovered by authorities in 2006, it was protected by booby traps, including tripwires connected to percussion explosives and camouflaged plywood boards on the ground with nails protruding through them. Ruth Bruno,, "Man Formerly Imprisoned On Weapons Charges Arrested Again While On Probation," 27 June 2018 The troops cleared mud-brick compounds and found many homemade explosive booby traps. Habib Khan Totakhil, WSJ, "U.S., Afghan Forces Launch Major Offensive Against Islamic State," 8 June 2018 And the area remains awash with bodies and booby traps. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Under threat and homeless, displaced Iraqis return to the camps," 16 May 2018 The crew goes to some extreme measures: costumes, booby traps, body doubles and fake-outs escalate during Jerry’s wedding weekend. Katie Walsh, Detroit Free Press, "Review: Playful ‘Tag’ is summer fluff with a heart," 15 June 2018 Wearing a prosthetic limb, Berwari returned as a colonel in the Kurdish Peshmerga, neutralizing booby traps left by a retreating ISIS. Thomas Page, CNN, "'The Deminer:' Unearthed videos reveal life and death of bomb disposal hero," 26 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'booby trap.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of booby trap

1832, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for booby trap

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for booby trap

The first known use of booby trap was in 1832

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More Definitions for booby trap

booby trap


English Language Learners Definition of booby trap

: a hidden bomb that explodes when the object connected to it is touched, moved, etc.
: a trap that is set as a joke to shock or frighten someone


boo·​by-trap | \ ˈbü-bē-ˌtrap\
booby-trapped; booby-trapping

Kids Definition of booby-trap

: to set up as a booby trap

booby trap

boo·​by trap | \ ˈbü-bē-\

Kids Definition of booby trap

1 : a hidden bomb that explodes when the object connected to it is touched
2 : a trap set for an unsuspecting person

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More from Merriam-Webster on booby trap

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with booby trap

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for booby trap

Britannica English: Translation of booby trap for Arabic Speakers

Comments on booby trap

What made you want to look up booby trap? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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