[ mous-trap ]
See synonyms for: mousetrapmousetrappedmousetrapping on

  1. a trap for mice, especially one consisting of a rectangular wooden base on which a metal spring is mounted.

  2. a device, machine, or the like whose structure or function suggests a trap for mice.

  1. a device, system, or stratagem for detecting and catching someone in an unauthorized or illegal act.

  2. Football. trap1 (def. 12).

verb (used with object),mouse·trapped, mouse·trap·ping.
  1. Informal.

    • to trap or snare: traffic cops mousetrapping drunken drivers.

    • to manipulate by devious or clever means; trick or outwit: to mousetrap the witness into a contradiction.

  2. Football. trap1 (def. 24).

Idioms about mousetrap

  1. build a better mousetrap, to make or offer a superior product.

Origin of mousetrap

First recorded in 1400–50, mousetrap is from late Middle English mous trappe. See mouse, trap1

Words Nearby mousetrap Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use mousetrap in a sentence

  • The players enter and plan with Hamlet the performance of The mousetrap.

    Dramatic Technique | George Pierce Baker
  • It's probably not much more than a better mousetrap, but you want to believe it is, don't you?

    My Shipmate--Columbus | Stephen Wilder
  • It is another to say (in the face of ocular experience) that the mousetrap runs after the mouse.

    George Bernard Shaw | Gilbert K. Chesterton
  • "And yet here I die in a mousetrap—with no more noise about it than my own squeaking," answered he.

    The Short-story | William Patterson Atkinson

British Dictionary definitions for mousetrap


/ (ˈmaʊsˌtræp) /

  1. any trap for catching mice, esp one with a spring-loaded metal bar that is released by the taking of the bait

  2. British informal cheese of indifferent quality

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