\ˈsner \

Definition of snare 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : a contrivance often consisting of a noose for entangling birds or mammals

(2) : trap, gin

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

b : 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

ambush, net, trap, web

Synonyms: Verb

bag, capture, catch, collar, cop [slang], corral, get, glom, grab, grapple, hook, land, nab, nail, net, nobble [British slang], rap, seize, snag, snap (up), snatch, trap

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


people caught in the snare of drug addiction you fell for my clever snare, you fool!


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Frustrated, locals have set out snares for elephants and poison for carnivores. Christopher Bendana, The Christian Science Monitor, "Uganda's pride: Lions test locals' patience," 27 June 2018 When gorillas are found struggling with snares, the vets are called in to clean wounds. Christina Larson, The Seattle Times, "Rare conservation win: Mountain gorilla population ticks up," 14 Nov. 2018 That's what happened when Wilder encountered a black bear in Kenai Fjords National Park in 2003 while working as a bear biologist, setting up snares in a remote part of the park. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "Got bear spray? Here’s how to make sure you use it right.," 5 May 2018 And my mother, not even 30 and already in the snares of schizophrenia and addiction and three kids at war with each other, with themselves, Levy pounding on me, depression already like a noose around my neck. Longreads, "La Otra," 26 June 2018 That included the use of snares, nets, and traps, hunting wolves or coyotes during their denning season, baiting bears, and using aircraft to hunt bears. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Federal judge rejects predator-control lawsuit against Interior Department," 8 June 2018 For a touring funky and jazz band like Naughty Professor, a travel van is almost as important as the saxophones, guitars and snares. Doug Maccash,, "New Orleans band Naughty Professor's van reported stolen," 5 June 2018 His work as Pryda, most notably with that rising snare, may be some of his most popular. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Eric Prydz Promises 4-Track Pryda EP Coming Soon," 3 May 2018 Once, however, this landscape was laced with snares. Sophy Roberts, Condé Nast Traveler, "Zambia's King Lewanika Lodge Offers More Than Just Big Five Sightings," 8 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Such saponified solids then act as sticky scaffold that glom onto sewer walls, grow, and snare other debris, slowly forming a monstrous mass. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "London museum is livestreaming a key 21st-century artifact—festering sewage," 18 Aug. 2018 And this surge was aided substantially Saturday by Collins, who scored a career-high 12 points, snared five rebounds and blocked two shots, while making 5 of 6 shots, including both of his three-point attempts. Joe Freeman,, "Zach Collins' career night 'is just the start' with Portland Trail Blazers," 11 Apr. 2017 Mike Zunino chopped a ball right to Mike Moustakas, who snared it, stepped on his bag and fired a strike into Hunter Dozier's glove at first base. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Out-dueled by the Mariners, Royals rookie Brad Keller continues to impress," 1 July 2018 In the seventh inning of Thursday’s 2-1, 13-inning loss to the Twins, Moncada snared Robbie Grossman’s liner and stepped on second base to double off Max Kepler to end the inning with only one run scoring. Phil Thompson,, "Yoan Moncada asked to learn error of his ways — and he's not the only one," 29 June 2018 No one else really came close until the ninth inning, when David Perala hit a line drive toward first base that forced Yulieski Gurriel to leap in order to snare. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Astros' Gerrit Cole flirts with no-hitter, pitches a gem in rout of Diamondbacks," 4 May 2018 The East pitcher snared it but settled for the out at first as Branson was already home with the tying run. James Weber,, "Ryle softball loses in walkoff heartbreak in Owensboro Health/KHSAA Fast Pitch Softball State Tournament," 7 June 2018 The Decatur cowboy snared the team roping heading title on Friday. Brett Hoffman, star-telegram, "Trevor Brazile doubles his fun at Windy Ryon Memorial Roping event | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 27 May 2018 To be fair, Mitch Haniger’s line drive with the bases loaded in the second inning was snared on an outstanding leaping grab by shortstop Daniel Robertson. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Felix Hernandez only lasts three innings in Mariners’ loss to Tampa Bay," 10 June 2018

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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Statistics for snare

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for snare

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

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More Definitions for snare



English Language Learners Definition of snare

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device that has a loop (called a noose) which gets smaller when the end of it is pulled and that is used to catch animals : a kind of trap

: a position or situation from which it is difficult to escape



English Language Learners Definition of snare (Entry 2 of 2)

: to catch (an animal) in a snare

: to cause (something) to become caught in something (such as a net or trap)

: to win or get (something) by skillful action or good luck


\ˈsner \

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 \

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)

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More from Merriam-Webster on snare

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with snare

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for snare

Spanish Central: Translation of snare

Nglish: Translation of snare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of snare for Arabic Speakers

Comments on snare

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to enclose within walls

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