en·​snare | \ in-ˈsner How to pronounce ensnare (audio) , en- \
ensnared; ensnaring; ensnares

Definition of ensnare

transitive verb

: to take in or as if in a snare

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for ensnare



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for ensnare

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

Examples of ensnare in a Sentence

The animals got ensnared in the net. The police successfully ensnared the burglar.
Recent Examples on the Web And an ongoing investigation into who funded the Noor One threatens to ensnare Greek oligarch Evangelos Marinakis, one of the most powerful figures in global shipping and soccer. Alexander Clapp, The New Republic, "The Vampire Ship," 28 Sep. 2020 Lucero stayed within the pocket for the majority of the contest but proved his physicality in taking a few big hits and enthusiastically popping up to ensnare confidence from his team. Evan Dudley, al, "Lucero’s impressive debut leads UAB to 42-10 win at South Alabama," 24 Sep. 2020 That means setting more traps, but this time, a different kind—ones with a screen over the bait that ensnare the hornet without drowning it. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Inside the Sprint to Map the Murder Hornet Genome," 24 Aug. 2020 Energy utility ComEd pleaded not guilty to bribery at an arraignment Wednesday despite previously admitting wrongdoing in an influence-peddling scheme that threatens to ensnare Illinois' most powerful Democrat, state House Speaker Michael Madigan. Michael Tarm, Star Tribune, "ComEd pleads not guilty in alleged influence-peddling scheme," 5 Aug. 2020 The television series is based on the popular podcast of the same name that detangles the web of lies con man John Meehan (played by Eric Bana) used to ensnare his wife, Debra Newell. Lindsey Benoit O'connell, Redbook, "Connie Britton Shares Her Rules for a Totally Chill Holiday Season," 30 Oct. 2018 The film belongs to the growing canon of time-loop stories, which ensnare their characters in a repeating cycle from which there’s no discernable escape. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Palm Springs Is the Comedy of the Summer," 10 July 2020 While Pompeo has repeatedly bashed Xi’s pet diplomatic program, the infrastructure-building Belt and Road Initiative, as a dangerous trap to ensnare unsuspecting poor nations, the administration hasn’t bothered offering an alternative. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, "Why China Wants Trump to Win," 7 July 2020 If a driver is unable to pay a fine, a judge can suspend their license, setting off a compounding cycle of debt that could ensnare a driver for decades. oregonlive, "Lawmakers pass bill to prevent Oregonians from losing driver’s licenses if they can’t afford to pay fines," 27 June 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of ensnare

1576, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ensnare

Time Traveler for ensnare

Time Traveler

The first known use of ensnare was in 1576

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ensnare

Last Updated

4 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ensnare.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ensnare. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ensnare


How to pronounce ensnare (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ensnare

: to catch (an animal or person) in a trap or in a place from which there is no escape

More from Merriam-Webster on ensnare

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ensnare

Nglish: Translation of ensnare for Spanish Speakers

Comments on ensnare

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!