mouse·​trap | \ ˈmau̇s-ˌtrap How to pronounce mousetrap (audio) \

Definition of mousetrap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a trap for mice
2 : a stratagem that lures one to defeat or destruction


mousetrapped; mousetrapping; mousetraps

Definition of mousetrap (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to snare in or as if in a mousetrap

Examples of mousetrap in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Jeremy Allaire a chance to crow about his better mousetrap. Globe Staff,, 12 May 2022 Building a better mousetrap is a great way to onramp users into the digital realm. Kathleen Walch, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2022 His $1,500 mousetrap, introduced in 1977, came with a laser beam to detect mice and a polished walnut base. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, 29 Mar. 2022 Catwoman has always been an antagonist and a mousetrap for Batman, but she's never really been his lone love interest. Leah Greenblatt,, 28 Feb. 2022 Building a better mousetrap is innovative, not anticompetitive. Stephen Moore, National Review, 22 Feb. 2022 For them, the focus is primarily on making a better mousetrap, in this case devising a self-driving car, and little energy goes toward the aims of marketing or promoting their wares. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 29 Aug. 2021 Cyber-criminals and pranksters are always looking to defy the next better mousetrap. Mark Nevins, Forbes, 20 May 2021 What Zeller has done has built a mousetrap for Anthony and for the audience: a portrait of encroaching dementia as seen from the point of view of the demented. Globe Staff,, 10 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb All of that seems to have been forgotten, though, in the rush to better mousetrap the category with extreme levels of brightness, unconventional form factors, solar charging, and other needless complication. Wes Siler, Outside Online, 9 Apr. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mousetrap.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of mousetrap


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1864, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About mousetrap

Time Traveler for mousetrap

Time Traveler

The first known use of mousetrap was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near mousetrap

mouse-tailed bat



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for mousetrap

Cite this Entry

“Mousetrap.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on mousetrap

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mousetrap

Nglish: Translation of mousetrap for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!