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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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 That makes Gates the latest individual — along with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading US infectious disease expert — to be ensnared in the flow of right-wing punditry that has denigrated those who appear at odds with Trump on the virus. Marc Tracy, BostonGlobe.com, "Bill Gates, at odds with Trump on virus, becomes a right-wing target," 17 Apr. 2020 In truth, the officials who ran the Carter Page FISA surveillance — and who deployed informants in a futile effort to ensnare Trump operatives — have been both purged and subjected to duly humiliating inspector-general reports. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "No to ‘FISA Reform’," 14 Mar. 2020 Trappers, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo, tear down the trees to pluck babies from nests or put out wooden sticks covered with glue to ensnare roosting adults en masse. National Geographic, "African gray parrot," 24 Feb. 2020 What is more, since Mr Akimoto’s arrest on December 25th, the allegations have spooled out to ensnare five other politicians, all but one from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The Economist, "The chips are down The Japanese government wants to build three flashy casinos," 6 Feb. 2020 Here is the Cold War story of a black female intelligence officer directed to ensnare the revolutionary leader of Burkina Faso. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, "The 10 best books of 2019," 26 Nov. 2019 Much of the case against him was based on video and audio recordings made by a U.S. government informant, Alexander Johnson, who was paid $50,000 -- according to Johnson's trial testimony -- to ensnare the artist. Patricia Meschino, Billboard, "After 10 Years in Prison, Jamaican Star Buju Banton Reclaims Musical Destiny With Historic Long Walk to Freedom Concert," 21 Mar. 2019 Several other senators were also ensnared in the scandal, including North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Game of chicken: Republican Senate rivals jockey over Georgia coronavirus openings," 23 Apr. 2020 What else we’re following Some foreign doctors and nurses who want to help in the U.S. have been ensnared by travel restrictions and visa rules. Patrick J. Lyons, New York Times, "Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today," 13 Apr. 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.

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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

11 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ensnare.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ensnare. Accessed 4 Jun. 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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