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 The blue-eyed Mr. Gantz, who looks like he was chiseled from Ashkenazi granite, seemed to blunder into cultural booby traps. David M. Halbfinger, New York Times, "Ace of Base: Why Netanyahu Seems Unsinkable," 3 Mar. 2020 The marshals discovered weapons, explosives and booby traps. Washington Post, "Woman who was in armed standoff over tax evasion to be freed," 31 Jan. 2020 So go ahead and escape from current events and instead hunt for pirate treasure, set booby traps, go toe-to-toe with bullies and monsters, and indulge in a happy ending. Joyce Bautista Ferrari, Marie Claire, "The Best Family Movies for Grown-Ups and Kids Alike," 11 Dec. 2019 Roadside bombs targeted Humvees, and booby traps littered the neighborhood. New York Times, "‘Our Patience Is Over’: Why Iraqis Are Protesting," 20 Nov. 2019 Iran funded and armed militias that shelled American bases and diplomatic installations—and supplied enhanced booby traps capable of penetrating U.S. armor. Karl Vick, Time, "Why the U.S. Assassination of Iranian Quds Force Leader Qasem Soleimani Has the U.S. Bracing for Retaliation," 3 Jan. 2020 Write down the targets, draw up plans and booby trap the roads, lay down [roadside bombs], and spread out snipers and kill with silencers. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "'A new stage in our war': ISIS announces it will focus on Israel attacks," 27 Jan. 2020 In their pursuit of One-Eyed Willie's pirate treasure, the kids encounter outrageous booby traps, a sweet giant, and heartless criminals. Joyce Bautista Ferrari, Marie Claire, "The Best Family Movies for Grown-Ups and Kids Alike," 11 Dec. 2019 The stunts were inspired by cartoons To create booby traps that a kid would set, Home Alone cinematographer Julio Macat had to think like a kid. Kristin Vartan,, "8 fun facts about Home Alone from Netflix’s The Movies That Made Us," 4 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for booby trap

Time Traveler

The first known use of booby trap was in 1832

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Statistics for booby trap

Last Updated

9 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Booby trap.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for booby trap

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with booby trap

Britannica English: Translation of booby trap for Arabic Speakers

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