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


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


disentangle, untangle

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Choose the Right Synonym for entrap

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

Step-siblings and occasional paramours Kathryn Merteuil (a brunette Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillipe at his poutiest) turn romance into a sport, hoping to entrap their fellow students and one up each other. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Cruel Intentions Is Still a Teenage Fashion Dream 20 Years On," 22 Mar. 2019 That has become a politically contentious point, with Mr. Trump’s allies questioning whether the F.B.I. was spying on the Trump campaign or trying to entrap campaign officials. New York Times, "Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation," 16 May 2018 Moe Yan Naing testified that a police general had given instructions to entrap the reporters. James Hookway, WSJ, "Myanmar Court Sentences Reuters Reporters to Seven Years in Prison," 3 Sep. 2018 However, the inverted tank can entrap smaller dogs and cats' heads and poses a major safety risk. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "IKEA Recalls 16,700 Pet Water Dispensers After 2 Dogs Die," 13 July 2018 If a child is placed in the stroller unharnessed, his or her body could pass through the opening between the grab bar and seat bottom of the stroller and become entrapped at the neck. Jasmin Radoncic, Good Housekeeping, "Recall Alert: Graco Strollers," 20 Oct. 2010 However, in April, Moe Yan Naing, a police captain called by the prosecution as a witness, admitted that a brigadier general had ordered police officers to meet the journalists and give them documents to entrap them. Jon Emont, WSJ, "Reporters Face Formal Charges in Myanmar for Investigation Into Rohingya Massacre," 9 July 2018 Expect to fall in love with this novel's triumvirate of wonder boys: a professor entrapped by his interminable second novel, his randy editor, and a student obsessed with Hollywood self-destruction. Adrienne Westenfeld, Town & Country, "The Ultimate Preppy College Reading List," 3 Oct. 2014 Channel 4 News in Britain recorded Mr. Nix suggesting methods to entrap a client’s opponent, like sending an attractive woman to seduce the rival candidate and secretly videotaping the encounter, or getting another person to propose a bribe. Adam Satariano, New York Times, "Alexander Nix, Ex-Chief of Cambridge Analytica, Disputes ‘Ridiculous Accusations’," 6 June 2018

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

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for entrap

Middle French entraper, from en- + trape trap

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Statistics for entrap

Last Updated

28 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for entrap

The first known use of entrap was in 1534

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More Definitions for entrap



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with entrap

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for entrap

Spanish Central: Translation of entrap

Nglish: Translation of entrap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of entrap for Arabic Speakers

Comments on entrap

What made you want to look up entrap? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of returning to life

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