verb (used with object), en·trapped, en·trap·ping.

to catch in or as in a trap; ensnare: The hunters used nets to entrap the lion.
to bring unawares into difficulty or danger: He entrapped himself in the web of his own lies.
to lure into performing an act or making a statement that is compromising or illegal.
to draw into contradiction or damaging admission: The questioner entrapped her into an admission of guilt.
Law. to catch by entrapment.

Origin of entrap

From the Middle French word entraper, dating back to 1525–35. See en-1, trap1
Related formsen·trap·per, nounen·trap·ping·ly, adverbun·en·trapped, adjective

Synonyms for entrap

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for entrapping

Historical Examples of entrapping

  • There could be no entrapping such an animal, and the Indian did not attempt it.

  • The idea of entrapping her into a meeting with him is abhorrent to him.

    April's Lady

    Margaret Wolfe Hungerford

  • Other methods of entrapping insects may also be pursued with success.

  • Some I shake so as to make sure of entrapping cold air in them.

    How We Think

    John Dewey

  • The colonel had paused, as he perceived the completeness of the lawyer's entrapping.

    Sons and Fathers

    Harry Stillwell Edwards

British Dictionary definitions for entrapping


verb -traps, -trapping or -trapped (tr)

to catch or snare in or as if in a trap
to lure or trick into danger, difficulty, or embarrassment
Derived Formsentrapper, 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 entrapping



1530s, intrappe, from Old French entraper "trap, catch in a trap;" see en- (1) + trap (v.). Related: Entrapped; entrapping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper