en·​trap·​ment | \ in-ˈtrap-mənt How to pronounce entrapment (audio) , en- \

Definition of entrapment

1a : the action or process of entrapping
b : the condition of being entrapped
2 : the action of luring an individual into committing a crime in order to prosecute the person for it
3 medical : chronic compression of a peripheral nerve (such as the median nerve) usually between ligamentous and bony surfaces that is marked by pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness

Examples of entrapment in a Sentence

her entrapment in an unhappy marriage His lawyer argued that he was a victim of police entrapment.
Recent Examples on the Web Some legal experts and supporters of Flynn believe he will be exonerated in the future, but Bernstein said leading FBI officials dismiss the talk of entrapment. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Carl Bernstein reports 'top' FBI officials dismiss Flynn entrapment claims," 4 May 2020 In contrast, in the Rockies, 61 percent of the deaths were flush drownings and just 31 percent were entrapments. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "A New Theory for Unexplained Whitewater Deaths," 11 Apr. 2020 Looking at this image now, when most of us are waiting out this pandemic in isolation, the frustrated sense of entrapment and longing comes back. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "Art and the City: Dallas art galleries address themes of self-expression, anxiety, memory and reverence during the pandemic," 19 Apr. 2020 African manatees, estimated to be around 10,000 in number spread across 21 African countries, face many threats, including poaching and entrapment in dams. Nusmila Lohani, The Christian Science Monitor, "Points of Progress: Hawaii’s state bird makes a comeback, and more," 17 Apr. 2020 The deaths were categorized as entrapment submersion if there was evidence that the victim was pinned underwater for a prolonged period of time. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "A New Theory for Unexplained Whitewater Deaths," 11 Apr. 2020 At least eight children have been killed and two more seriously hurt in elevator entrapments since 1981, according to a CPSC database and Post research. Todd C. Frankel, Washington Post, "Another child was crushed by a home elevator, just months after U.S. regulators decided against safety recall," 13 Feb. 2020 But most of those bits are folded into zippy highlight montages — a device that saps the comedy of its duration, the sense of entrapment that is its most crucial, cringe-inducing element. Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Between Two Ferns: The Movie’ brings Zach Galifianakis’ hilarious web series to Netflix," 20 Sep. 2019 His slew of allegations includes discrimination, entrapment, false imprisonment and perjury. Tom Steele, Dallas News, "Before he was Joe Exotic, ‘Tiger King’ star owned Arlington pet store," 2 Apr. 2020

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

1609, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of entrapment was in 1609

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Statistics for entrapment

Last Updated

9 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Entrapment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entrapment. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for entrapment


How to pronounce entrapment (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of entrapment

: the act of entrapping someone or something or the condition of being entrapped
: the illegal act of tricking someone into committing a crime so that the person you have tricked can be arrested


en·​trap·​ment | \ in-ˈtrap-mənt, en- How to pronounce entrapment (audio) \

Medical Definition of entrapment

: chronic compression of a peripheral nerve (as the median nerve or ulnar nerve) usually between ligamentous and bony surfaces that is characterized especially by pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness



Legal Definition of entrapment

1 : the action or process of entrapping
2 : the state or condition of being entrapped also : the affirmative defense of having been entrapped by a government agent (as an officer or informant) — see also predispose

Note: Entrapment is available as a defense only when an agent of the state or federal government has provided the encouragement or inducement. This defense is sometimes allowed in administrative proceedings (as for the revocation of a license to practice medicine) as well as criminal proceedings. In order to establish entrapment, the defendant has the burden of proving either that he or she would not have committed the crime but for the undue persuasion or fraud of the government agent, or that the encouragement was such that it created a risk that persons not inclined to commit the crime would commit it, depending on the jurisdiction. When entrapment is pleaded, evidence (as character evidence) regarding the defendant that might otherwise have been excluded is allowed to be admitted.

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