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

Among the dozens already reversed: easing rules on practices such as curbing methane emissions from drilling operations and holding oil and gas companies responsible for killing birds that get ensnared in their rigs' waste pits. Author: Juliet Eilperin, Brady Dennis, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump administration plans to return nation to 1986 standards on water pollution," 12 Sep. 2019 The subpoena was sent by Assistant US Attorney Eric S. Rosen, the lead prosecutor in the nationwide college admissions bribery scandal that has ensnared Hollywood celebrities, wealthy investors, and college coaches and consultants. Michael Levenson, BostonGlobe.com, "Harvard fires fencing coach over Needham house sale," 9 July 2019 That is the charity allegedly used to funnel money from wealthy parents who hired William Rick Singer, the college consultant at the center of the case that has ensnared... Melissa Korn, WSJ, "On Campus, the Fallout From the College Admissions Scandal," 15 Mar. 2019 His case is part of a broader corruption scandal that has ensnared at least 20 individuals, many of whom have pleaded guilty. Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press, "Gabe Leland on FBI towing probe: 'I feel OK where I'm at'," 31 May 2018 Lula was convicted in a case that stems from a nationwide investigation that has ensnared many of Brazil’s top businessmen and politicians. Washington Post, "Bachelet denied campaign took money from Brazil OAS company," 18 Sep. 2019 When the car finally came to a halt, it was perched precariously on its side, ensnared by a swarm of tires. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "Brad Keselowski calls IMS safety into question after crash into tire barrier," 8 Sep. 2019 Kennedy’s allegations are the latest in a widening scandal that has ensnared the city attorney’s office and the DWP. Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times, "A city auditor was investigating DWP contracts. She says she was warned not to be ‘thorough’," 5 Sep. 2019 In some ways, Harris risks falling into the same trap that ensnared Rubio in 2016 – eloquent on the stump, adept at raising money, acceptable across the party spectrum but not loved by enough voters. Bloomberg News, The Mercury News, "Why Kamala Harris hasn’t caught fire in the Democratic 2020 race," 3 Sep. 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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Statistics for ensnare

Last Updated

13 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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