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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for ensnare



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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 The company is ensnared in a crisis of global proportions, after nearly 350 people were killed in the crashes of two Boeing 737 Max jets in 2018 and 2019. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "Boeing reports its first annual loss in more than two decades," 29 Jan. 2020 Two dozen other male customers, along with the owner, manager and two other women who worked there, also were ensnared. Marc Freeman, sun-sentinel.com, "Billionaire Robert Kraft warns of snooping frenzy if state wins appeal in massage parlor sex case," 1 Nov. 2019 The Equatorial Guinea president’s son, who is also a vice president, has been ensnared in legal trouble elsewhere. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Supercars taken from African leader’s son auctioned for $27M," 29 Sep. 2019 But in the past few years, with da Silva out of office, the political mood has darkened as the economy has slumped and a far-reaching corruption investigation has ensnared hundreds of politicians and businessmen — including da Silva. Mauricio Savarese, The Seattle Times, "Lula da Silva’s party chooses Plan B in Brazil race," 6 Aug. 2018 Pruitt was ensnared in a series of controversies that centered on lavish spending, ethical lapses and his management decisions. *** Text of Pruitt’s resignation letter to Trump: ‘‘Mr. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Read EPA head Scott Pruitt’s resignation letter," 5 July 2018 The investigation has also ensnared other Trump officials, like former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign chairman Paul Manfort, over other issues. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Trump blasts cost of 'Russia Hoax' probe after $17M price tag revealed," 1 June 2018 Labor watchers have been generally supportive of Gamble's moves since his elevation to acting president and then president as the scandal brought down his predecessor, Gary Jones, who has been ensnared in the probe. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Is UAW headed for federal takeover? Feds say it's 'on the table'," 10 Jan. 2020 There’s Maggie in North Dakota, who as a high school student gets ensnared in a relationship with her popular English teacher, Aaron Knodel, and eventually levels felony charges against him (this is the only story with real names). Margaret Wappler, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Three Women’ studies the real sex lives of women, casting light on obscured desire," 26 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of ensnare

1576, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for ensnare

Time Traveler

The first known use of ensnare was in 1576

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Statistics for ensnare

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ensnare.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ensnare. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on ensnare

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ensnare

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ensnare

Spanish Central: Translation of ensnare

Nglish: Translation of ensnare for Spanish Speakers

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