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verb (used with object), en·snared, en·snar·ing.
  1. to capture in, or involve as in, a snare: to be ensnared by lies; to ensnare birds.
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Also insnare.

Origin of ensnare

First recorded in 1585–95; en-1 + snare1
Related formsen·snare·ment, nounen·snar·er, nounen·snar·ing·ly, adverbun·en·snared, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

entangle, cheat, embroil, mislead, enmesh, entrap, snare, capture, lure, entice, hook, decoy, snag, trick, bag, snarl, inveigle, deceive, catch, net

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British Dictionary definitions for ensnare



verb (tr)
  1. to catch or trap in a snare
  2. to trap or gain power over someone by dishonest or underhand means
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Derived Formsensnarement, nounensnarer, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ensnare


1570s, from en- (1) "make, put in" + snare (n.). Related: Ensnared; ensnaring.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper