\ ˈsner How to pronounce snare (audio) \

Definition of snare

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : a contrivance often consisting of a noose for entangling birds or mammals
(2) : trap, gin entry 2
b(1) : something by which one is entangled, involved in difficulties, or impeded
(2) : something deceptively attractive
2 [probably from Dutch snaar, literally, cord; akin to Old High German snuor]
a : one of the catgut strings or metal spirals of a snare drum
3 : a surgical instrument consisting usually of a wire loop constricted by a mechanism in the handle and used for removing tissue masses (such as tonsils)


snared; snaring

Definition of snare (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to capture by or as if by use of a snare
b : to win or attain by artful or skillful maneuvers
2 : to entangle or hold as if in a snare any object that snared his eyeCurrent Biography

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Other Words from snare


snarer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for snare

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for snare


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 snare in a Sentence

Noun people caught in the snare of drug addiction you fell for my clever snare, you fool! Verb They caught fish and snared seabirds. Unfortunately, the nets also snare turtles. They snared first place in the contest. trying to snare business from competitors The shortstop snared a high throw from the outfield. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun However, poachers have also used snare traps to kill endangered wildlife for economic purposes. Yayan Zamzami, ajc, 25 Apr. 2022 That snare is bad, like on par with St. Anger’s snares. Josh Chesler, SPIN, 5 Mar. 2022 The fractured snare that sits behind the mix is the only real giveaway of who’s tweaking the knobs. Lars Brandle, Billboard, 3 Feb. 2022 On a track that utilizes more empty space than the average Foos rocker, Hawkins has room to lay down a fast shuffle punctuated with rat-a-tat snare fills. Al Shipley, SPIN, 27 Mar. 2022 The journey to the Saudi cities of Mecca and Medina for the Muslim faithful has become a snare to catch Uighurs from all over the world. Time, 24 Mar. 2022 If the British government were to have a genuine change of heart and start demanding transparency and freezing assets, a sanctuary could become a snare. Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker, 17 Mar. 2022 The band’s lineup features three highland bagpipers and traditional marching snare, backed by the most-famous bagpipe band on the planet., 4 Mar. 2022 For a few seconds, the parade marched on, the roll of snare drums, the chatter of children, the footsteps of the band members lingering in the air. Anchorage Daily News, 23 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Quarterback Drew Powell opened the scoring Saturday with a short touchdown pass to Huston, who later made a leaping catch in the end zone to snare Powell's pass. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 3 Apr. 2022 Ullmark, who missed three games with an injury, robbed former Bruin Frank Vatrano midway through the second, using his glove to snare the one-timer. Ken Powtak, Hartford Courant, 23 Apr. 2022 Sheriffs used roadblocks to snare people without papers and handed them over to the federal government for deportation. New York Times, 14 Apr. 2022 The story of how a tiny business that exists only on paper has managed to snare so much top-level attention is emblematic of the Trump administration's frenetic response to the coronavirus pandemic. CBS News, 2 Nov. 2020 Disney has over the past two years spent billions to snare new rights deals with top sports properties like Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, the PGA Tour and others. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 6 Apr. 2022 As Saladino finally recognized, Canouan’s true opportunity to snare a share of the most affluent vacationers lay in the yacht market. Mark Ellwood, Robb Report, 26 Mar. 2022 The plan was to send an undercover female operative to snare McMaster at a fancy restaurant. Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, 21 Jan. 2022 Mississippi’s Brooks, meanwhile, failed to snare a single defensive rebound. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 2 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'snare.' 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 snare


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for snare


Middle English, from Old English sneare, probably from Old Norse snara; akin to Old High German snuor cord and perhaps to Greek narkē numbness

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Time Traveler for snare

Time Traveler

The first known use of snare was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near snare



snare drum

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Last Updated

1 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Snare.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for snare


\ ˈsner How to pronounce snare (audio) \

Kids Definition of snare

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a trap (as a noose) for catching small animals and birds
2 : something that traps or deceives


snared; snaring

Kids Definition of snare (Entry 2 of 2)

: to catch or entangle by or as if by use of a trap for catching small animals


\ ˈsna(ə)r, ˈsne(ə)r How to pronounce snare (audio) \

Medical Definition of snare

: a surgical instrument consisting usually of a wire loop constricted by a mechanism in the handle and used for removing tissue masses (as tonsils or polyps)

More from Merriam-Webster on snare

Nglish: Translation of snare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of snare for Arabic Speakers


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