en·​trap | \in-ˈtrap, 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, 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

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 This is showing how extremist ideology can entrap children. Niniek Karmini, BostonGlobe.com, "Another Indonesia suicide bombing attributed to family," 14 May 2018 Cambridge Analytica has suspended Nix, its CEO, after he was recorded in an undercover television show offering to assist a potential client by using prostitutes and bribery to entrap political candidates. Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin GOP operative Mark Block details Cambridge Analytica meeting on yacht," 29 Mar. 2018 Washed up sargassum can also entrap sea turtles or attract sea lice, LaPointe said. Jacob Sweet, miamiherald, "Lots of sun, and brown slimy seaweed, in the forecast for South Florida beaches," 3 July 2018 Executives with the firm were seen and heard in an undercover U.K. news expose boasting of bribing and entrapping politicians, and taking credit for Trump's electoral college victory. Jeff Darcy, cleveland.com, "Facebook allows users to be used: Darcy cartoon," 21 Mar. 2018 Their lawyers argue they were entrapped by police, broke no laws, and were simply doing their jobs. Renae Reints, Fortune, "Reuters Journalists Charged with Obtaining State Secrets by Myanmar Court," 9 July 2018 Atlanta firefighters and police have responded to a car wreck on I-75 North that has left at least one person entrapped, Atlanta Fire Rescue tweeted. Zachary Hansen, ajc, "BREAKING: Vehicle wreck shuts down I-75 North at Moores Mill Road," 7 July 2018 But a jury in 2002 found Stephens not guilty on all counts after his defense argued he had been entrapped by an FBI informant. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, "How a down-and-out broker got University of Michigan to invest $95M," 22 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

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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

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


en·​trap | \in-ˈtrap \
entrapped; entrapping

Kids Definition of entrap

: to catch in or as if in a trap

en·​trap | \in-ˈtrap \
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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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).


playful or foolish behavior

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