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 The complex tragedy that spurred thousands of reproductions and re-imaginations takes place entirely within four walls—the characters, like the rest of us, cannot escape their entrapment. Annie Goldsmith, Town & Country, "Romeo and Juliet, A Play for the Pandemic," 24 Apr. 2021 Such policies range from the placement of Muslim leaders on terrorist lists without explanation to entrapment by law enforcement. USA Today, "'Lifting the ban is not undoing the injustice': How Muslim groups want Biden to fight Islamophobia," 23 Apr. 2021 Many factors can contribute to trunk entrapment injury or death. Maggie Rauser, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Safe Kids Carroll County: Vehicles contain hidden dangers for children," 10 Apr. 2021 The scene represents the isolation and entrapment communicated in the music. Andrea Bossi, Forbes, "Risks That Paid Off In Justin Bieber’s 2021 Official Live Vevo Performances," 6 Apr. 2021 This is entrapment straight from the commissioner's office. Tyler Stafford, Chron, "An Astros fan's guide to booing every other team in baseball," 1 Apr. 2021 On November 28th, disciplinary action was announced against Savio and another student, Arthur Goldberg, for the entrapment of the police car on October 1st, among other malfeasances. Louis Menand, The New Yorker, "The Making of the New Left," 15 Mar. 2021 Her comments come on the one-year anniversary of South Dakota diagnosing its first five coronavirus cases, as well as the 27th anniversary of when her father died after a grain bin entrapment accident. Emma Colton, Washington Examiner, "Kristi Noem reveals what she found just months after her father died in tragic accident: 'A tiny tape recorder'," 10 Mar. 2021 Back in the days of slavery, Black people looked to divination as a salve amid the terror and violence — both physical and psychological — inflicted upon them by entrapment and colonialism. Stephanie Long, refinery29.com, "How Tarot & Astrology Became Black & Brown Women’s North Star," 28 Feb. 2021

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

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Entrapment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entrapment. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for entrapment



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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