1. a device, often consisting of a noose, for capturing small game.
  2. anything serving to entrap or entangle unawares; trap.
  3. Surgery. a wire noose for removing tumors or the like by the roots or at the base.
verb (used with object), snared, snar·ing.
  1. to catch with a snare; entangle.
  2. to catch or involve by trickery or wile: to snare her into going.

Origin of snare

before 1100; Middle English (noun and v.); cognate with Old Norse snara, Middle Low German snare, Old High German snar(a)ha
Related formssnare·less, adjectivesnar·er, nounsnar·ing·ly, adverbun·snared, adjective

Synonyms for snare

1. See trap1. 2. net, seine. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for snared

Contemporary Examples of snared

Historical Examples of snared

  • Asher Merriwell had been snared by the wiles of an adventuress, and he had married her.

  • But suddenly she felt like a hunter who has snared a lion in a rabbit trap.

    Rebels of the Red Planet

    Charles Louis Fontenay

  • Folk said she snared birds and rabbits, in the thicket that came down to her hovel.

    Curious, if True

    Elizabeth Gaskell

  • I had already been cozened once, I had resolved not to be snared again.

    Desert Dust

    Edwin L. Sabin

  • A failure or two and then he had it snared securely; now it was in his hand.

    The Doomsman

    Van Tassel Sutphen

British Dictionary definitions for snared


  1. a device for trapping birds or small animals, esp a flexible loop that is drawn tight around the prey
  2. a surgical instrument for removing certain tumours, consisting of a wire loop that may be drawn tight around their base to sever or uproot them
  3. anything that traps or entangles someone or something unawares
verb (tr)
  1. to catch (birds or small animals) with a snare
  2. to catch or trap in or as if in a snare; capture by trickery
Derived Formssnareless, adjectivesnarer, noun

Word Origin for snare

Old English sneare, from Old Norse snara; related to Old High German snaraha


  1. music a set of gut strings wound with wire fitted against the lower drumhead of a snare drum. They produce a rattling sound when the drum is beatenSee snare drum

Word Origin for snare

C17: from Middle Dutch snaer or Middle Low German snare string; related to Gothic snōrjō basket
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 snared



"noose for catching animals," late Old English, from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse snara "noose, snare," related to soenri "twisted rope," from Proto-Germanic *snarkho (cf. Middle Dutch snare, Dutch snaar, Old High German snare, German Schnur "noose, cord," Old English snear "a string, cord"). Figuratively from c.1300.



"string across a drum," 1680s, probably from Dutch snaar "string," from same source as snare (n.1). From 1938 as short for snare-drum (1873).



late 14c., "to ensnare," from snare (n.1). Related: Snared; snaring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

snared in Medicine


  1. A surgical instrument with a wire loop controlled by a mechanism in the handle, used to remove growths, such as tumors and polyps.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.