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 president said that with the helicopter gunships firing from above, commandos bypassed the front door, fearing a booby trap, before destroying one of the compound’s walls., "How did CIA track down al-Baghdadi? Thanks to one of his wives and a courier - The Boston Globe," 28 Oct. 2019 All of the packages contained improvised booby traps that postal authorities intercepted and rendered harmless with no injuries. Washington Post, "Texas woman admits addressing bombs to Obama, Texas governor," 1 July 2019 Website drive-by attacks that try to booby trap visitors’ routers are alive and well, according to antivirus provider Avast, which blocked more than 4.6 million of them in Brazil over a two-month span. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Website drive-by attacks on routers are alive and well. Here’s what to do," 11 July 2019 The exceptions to Illinois’ ban include sparklers, snappers, booby traps, trick noisemakers and cigarette loads. Javonte Anderson,, "Burning at 1,800 degrees, even the humble sparkler can be dangerous, fire officials warn," 3 July 2019 The tunnels connected the residents with subterranean schools and hospitals, and included booby traps smeared with poisonous concoctions to injure enemy soldiers. National Geographic, "Southeast Asia Family Journey: Vietnam to Cambodia," 12 June 2019 The story has a happy ending, though: after using peanut butter (the food), flour, security cameras, and elaborate booby traps, Peanut Butter (the hamster) was recovered. Alejandra Salazar,, "Chrissy Teigen May Have Just Low-Key Shaded Kim K. — With A Hamster Photo," 13 Mar. 2019 The Philippine military retook the city with help from U.S. surveillance drones, but large sections were turned into rubble by bombardment, booby traps and street-to-street fighting. Jake Maxwell Watts, WSJ, "Muslims in the Philippines Emerge From the Fog of War to Vote on Self-Rule," 18 Jan. 2019 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

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

11 Nov 2019

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

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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