en·​trap | \ in-ˈtrap How to pronounce entrap (audio) , en- \
entrapped; entrapping; entraps

Definition of entrap

transitive verb

1 : to catch in or as if in a trap
2 : to lure into a compromising statement or act

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Synonyms & Antonyms for entrap



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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 entrap in a Sentence

We used the net to entrap a school of fish. The air bubbles were entrapped in ice. She felt that she was entrapped in an unhappy marriage.
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Recent Examples on the Web Tele Traffic reports multiple cars involved in the accident as well as one car that rolled over onto its roof, entrapping at least one person inside. Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando traffic: Major crash closes 3 left lanes of turnpike near S.R. 408," 6 Dec. 2019 Hamzeh had been cleared to present the defense that he was entrapped. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Entrapment defense in 2016 Masonic Center shooting plot will have to wait as prosecutors appeal judge's rulings," 22 Oct. 2019 And in the more Dalek-like design, the microbe is entrapped inside the cargo-carrying structure. Tom Siegfried, Smithsonian, "How Tiny, Microbe-Propelled Bots Could Deliver Drugs In Our Bodies," 26 Sep. 2019 Some workers must buy food from expensive ranch stores using systems of credit that entrap them in debt. Joel E. Correia, The Conversation, "South America’s second-largest forest is also burning – and ‘environmentally friendly’ charcoal is subsidizing its destruction," 2 Oct. 2019 No one has filed a lawsuit or claim against the U.S. government for collecting the money or for allegedly entrapping the students. Niraj Warikoo, USA TODAY, "ICE arrests 90 more foreign students at fake university created by DHS in Michigan," 28 Nov. 2019 No one has filed a lawsuit or claim against the U.S. government for collecting the money or for allegedly entrapping the students. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, "ICE arrests 90 more students at fake university in Michigan," 27 Nov. 2019 Human rights groups have accused the Myanmar police of entrapping the two Reuters journalists by handing them incriminating documents. Mike Ives, New York Times, "Case Against Reuters Journalists in Myanmar Moves to Trial," 9 July 2018 There is even a panel depicting GM’s attempt to entrap the young Nader by sending a prostitute to solicit him at a grocery store. Alec Macgillis, ProPublica, "“I Will Never Let Boeing Forget Her”," 11 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'entrap.' 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 entrap

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for entrap

Middle French entraper, from en- + trape trap

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Time Traveler for entrap

Time Traveler

The first known use of entrap was in 1531

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Statistics for entrap

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Entrap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entrap. Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for entrap


How to pronounce entrap (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of entrap

formal : to catch (someone or something) in a trap or in something like a trap


en·​trap | \ in-ˈtrap How to pronounce entrap (audio) \
entrapped; entrapping

Kids Definition of entrap

: to catch in or as if in a trap
en·​trap | \ in-ˈtrap How to pronounce entrap (audio) \
entrapped; entrapping

Legal Definition of entrap

: to cause (a person) to commit a crime by means of undue persuasion, encouragement, or fraud in order to later prosecute police entrap him into violating the literal terms of a criminal statute— W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr.

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More from Merriam-Webster on entrap

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for entrap

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with entrap

Spanish Central: Translation of entrap

Nglish: Translation of entrap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of entrap for Arabic Speakers

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