Synonyms of trap

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a device or scheme for capturing another by surprise
  • undercover agents devised a trap to catch the counterfeiters
  • a bear trap

Synonyms for trap

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2 a setup in which hidden attackers lie in wait
  • an overland route to the Far East that was once notorious for the many robbers who laid traps for unsuspecting wayfarers

Synonyms for trap

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3 something that catches and holds
  • the promotion is really just a trap to keep her from taking a new job elsewhere

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4 slang the opening through which food passes into the body of an animal
  • shut your trap before someone belts you one!

Synonyms for trap

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Synonyms & Antonyms of trap (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to catch or hold as if in a net
  • an ambitious young man who was now trapped in a series of shady business deals

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Near Antonyms for trap

Antonyms for trap

2 to take physical control or possession of (something) suddenly or forcibly
  • finally trapped the annoying fly in the palm of his hand

Synonyms for trap

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Phrases Synonymous with trap

Near Antonyms for trap

Antonyms for trap

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About trap

How does the verb trap contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of trap are bag, capture, catch, ensnare, entrap, and snare. 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 could bag be used to replace trap?

The words bag and trap can be used in similar contexts, but bag implies shooting down a fleeing or distant prey.

bagged a brace of pheasants

When is it sensible to use capture instead of trap?

While in some cases nearly identical to trap, capture suggests taking by overcoming resistance or difficulty.

capture an enemy stronghold

When might catch be a better fit than trap?

In some situations, the words catch and trap are roughly equivalent. However, catch implies the seizing of something in motion or in flight or in hiding.

caught the dog as it ran by

How do entrap and ensnare relate to one another, in the sense of trap?

Both entrap and ensnare more often are figurative.

entrapped the witness with a trick question

a sting operation that ensnared burglars

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Time Traveler for trap

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Trap.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on trap

Nglish: Translation of trap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trap for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about trap


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