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 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,, "‘The Father’: Anthony Hopkins confronts the dying of the light," 10 Mar. 2021 There are plenty more ways beyond the traditional mousetrap to get rid of mice infesting your house. Adam Hadhazy, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Rid of Mice in Your Home," 9 Mar. 2021 There is a sinking feeling among some that this building of a better mousetrap might not be grandly and immediately accepted by the world at large. Lance Eliot, Forbes, "Massive Boon In Computer Chip Shortages Will Slam Future Self-Driving Car Rollouts," 2 Mar. 2021 Putting aside snark for a moment, the A’s have an owner who doesn’t care if his team wins and has a mousetrap in his wallet, the Giants have an owner who helps finance the coup of democracy, the Raiders have an owner who abducted his team. Scott Ostler,, "Warriors return to life with a win, tenacious D and weird telecast," 12 Dec. 2020 Bomb technicians found bomb components strewn around the scene: pieces of a mousetrap, ACDelco brand AA batteries and pieces of galvanized pipe. CBS News, ""The FBI Declassified": To catch a serial bomber," 20 Oct. 2020 By the way, the best baits for mousetraps are peanut butter, soft gummy candy, wet dog food, and cheese, of course. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Rid of Common House Pests," 17 Feb. 2020 Sometimes companies get lucky, are smart about enlisting allies, or make a better mousetrap. Shira Ovide, New York Times, "No, the Best Doesn’t Win," 27 Apr. 2020 Not surprisingly, the mousetraps fire in rapid succession and trigger the traps next to them. Sarah Brookbank,, "Can a video of mousetraps and ping pong balls encourage people to stay socially distant?," 10 Apr. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of mousetrap


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1864, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for mousetrap

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

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Last Updated

21 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mousetrap.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of mousetrap

: a small trap for catching mice

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Nglish: Translation of mousetrap for Spanish Speakers

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