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mouse·​trap ˈmau̇s-ˌtrap How to pronounce mousetrap (audio)
: a trap for mice
: a stratagem that lures one to defeat or destruction


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mousetrapped; mousetrapping; mousetraps

transitive verb

: to snare in or as if in a mousetrap

Examples of mousetrap in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The Victoria and Albert Museum is missing more than 180 pieces, including several false mustaches and a mousetrap, which a spokesperson says might be explained by a clerical oversight. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Jan. 2024 The beginning of building a better and more effective mousetrap. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Dec. 2023 The chemical reaction also releases additional CO2. Brimstone, a startup that has raised $60 million planning its first pilot plant near Reno, Nevada, has devised a better mousetrap. Popular Science, 29 Nov. 2023 Players are tasked with creating a mousetrap out of wacky plastic pieces to capture their opponents while moving around the board at the same time. Cheryl Fenton, Parents, 27 Oct. 2023 Instead of building a revolutionary new mousetrap, did Bright Health build a more-or-less conventional mousetrap assembled out of mousetrap parts easily found on the internet? Lee Schafer, Star Tribune, 26 June 2021 And that's criminals using A.I. to build the better mousetrap. CBS News, 28 May 2023 The second reason: Morgan believes that Kenny will be able to build a better mousetrap, thanks to his deep understanding of what digital advertisers need, and his background in cloud computing and A.I.—all the products of one of the sector’s more remarkable résumés. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 1 Mar. 2022 Engineers built a better mousetrap. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 15 Nov. 2022
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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mousetrap.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1864, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near mousetrap

Cite this Entry

“Mousetrap.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

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