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


catch up, enmesh (also immesh), ensnarl, entangle, entoil, entrap, mesh, net, snare, tangle, trap


disentangle, untangle

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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

Here's how Huffman, Macy, and their two daughters were ensnared in the landmark investigation. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "How Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy Became Involved the College Admissions Scandal," 13 Mar. 2019 Photo: AP Photo/Susan Walsh Mr. Manafort has been a key figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s wide-ranging probe of Russian election interference, which has ensnared the former campaign chairman and several other Trump associates. Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ, "Manhattan Prosecutors Pursuing Criminal Charges Against Paul Manafort," 22 Feb. 2019 Sakaske, who sold Nathan the tuna gear, thinks Linda was ensnared in the fishing lines. James D. Walsh, Daily Intelligencer, "A Son Took His Mother Out Fishing. She Never Came Back.," 23 Jan. 2018 Even if not ensnared in the probe, many have faced public criticism and professional risk as the investigation lingered. Jonathan Lemire, The Seattle Times, "Trump claims vindication in Mueller report, goes on attack," 25 Mar. 2019 But the Weavers, and particularly Seeger, were soon ensnared in the anti-Communist hysteria of the 1950s. Billboard, "Aboard the Clearwater: Five Decades of Environmental Activism Rooted In Music," 13 June 2018 Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal reported last month that Mr. Khoja was ensnared in the crackdown because of his relationship with former Saudi Ministry of Economy and Planning chief, Adel Fakeih. Justin Scheck, WSJ, "Saudis Release Consultant, Billionaire Imprisoned in Crackdown," 23 Jan. 2019 Even in cases that aren’t fatal, researchers say, the stress on ensnared females likely makes pregnancies more difficult. Washington Post, "‘Truly alarming’: No babies for endangered right whales," 28 Mar. 2018 Even in cases that aren't fatal, researchers say, the stress on ensnared females likely makes pregnancies more difficult. CBS News, "Endangered right whales, on brink of extinction, could be facing "beginning of the end"," 27 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for ensnare

Last Updated

12 May 2019

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Time Traveler for ensnare

The first known use of ensnare was in 1576

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More Definitions for ensnare



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ensnare

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ensnare

Spanish Central: Translation of 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).


a strong desire or propensity

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