Origin of rattrap

1425–75; late Middle English. See rat, trap1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rat-trap

Historical Examples of rat-trap

  • The visiting-room of Regina Cœli is constructed on the principle of a rat-trap.

  • Pray God she does not slay a score of us in this rat-trap by her first shot.

    In the Days of Drake

    J. S. Fletcher

  • I knew not much of the world, but I knew enough to wish myself out of this rat-trap.


    Talbot Baines Reed

  • Cinderella brought the rat-trap, in which there were three large rats.

  • Father told me to keep away from a rat-trap that he had bought.

    The Making of Bobby Burnit

    George Randolph Chester

British Dictionary definitions for rat-trap


  1. a device for catching rats
  2. informal a type of bicycle pedal having serrated steel foot pads and a toe clip
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 rat-trap

late 15c., from rat (n.) + trap (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper