Synonym Chooser

How does the verb ensnare contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of ensnare are bag, capture, catch, entrap, snare, and trap. While all these words mean "to come to possess or control by or as if by seizing," 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

When can bag be used instead of ensnare?

While in some cases nearly identical to ensnare, bag implies shooting down a fleeing or distant prey.

bagged a brace of pheasants

When is it sensible to use capture instead of ensnare?

In some situations, the words capture and ensnare are roughly equivalent. However, capture suggests taking by overcoming resistance or difficulty.

capture an enemy stronghold

When could catch be used to replace ensnare?

Although the words catch and ensnare have much in common, catch implies the seizing of something in motion or in flight or in hiding.

caught the dog as it ran by

How are the words entrap and ensnare related?

Both entrap and ensnare more often are figurative.

entrapped the witness with a trick question
a sting operation that ensnared burglars

Thesaurus Entries Near ensnare

Cite this Entry

“Ensnare.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/ensnare. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on ensnare

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