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

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 One booby trap was recovered in a building across the street, designed to blow when the electricity was switched back on, but Rhyzenko’s home appeared to be safe based on the expert’s search. Phil Mccausland, NBC News, 27 Apr. 2022 The soldiers passed a Russian military identification document, fluttering in the wind on the lawn of a house, but did not touch it to check the name, fearing a booby trap. New York Times, 29 Mar. 2022 It was thought their digging had triggered a booby trap. Dylan Taylor-lehman, Popular Mechanics, 13 May 2021 The gunman in that attack, which killed 12, attempted to booby trap his home before the shooting. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, 28 May 2021 Flooding of the Money Pit, which the legend claims to be evidence of a booby trap, occurs naturally on that part of Oak Island due to the influx of fresh water from sands of the island’s subsurface. Dylan Taylor-lehman, Popular Mechanics, 13 May 2021 Ronald Cyr, age 65, a most distrustful chap, Determined to defend his home, devised a booby trap. Washington Post, 30 Dec. 2020 The booby trap was placed on the sidewalk of a Southwest Austin neighborhood and those injured were young white males. CBS News, 20 Oct. 2020 Stranger said that during the initial search of the property, one of the deputies stepped on a board with nails sticking up from it — which Stranger said had been placed as a booby trap. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Oct. 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of booby trap

1832, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for booby trap

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The first known use of booby trap was in 1832

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Dictionary Entries Near booby trap

booby prize

booby trap


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Cite this Entry

“Booby trap.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for booby trap


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

More from Merriam-Webster on booby trap

Britannica English: Translation of booby trap for Arabic Speakers


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