a contrivance used for catching game or other animals, as a mechanical device that springs shut suddenly.
any device, stratagem, trick, or the like for catching a person unawares.
any of various devices for removing undesirable substances from a moving fluid, vapor, etc., as water from steam or cinders from coal gas.
Also called air trap . an arrangement in a pipe, as a double curve or a U-shaped section, in which liquid remains and forms a seal for preventing the passage or escape of air or of gases through the pipe from behind or below.
traps, the percussion instruments of a jazz or dance band.
Slang. trap house (def. 1).
Trapshooting. a device for hurling clay pigeons into the air.
Golf. sand trap.
Baseball. an act or instance of trapping a ball.
Also called mousetrap, trap play .Football. a play in which a defensive player, usually a guard or tackle, is allowed by the team on offense to cross the line of scrimmage into the backfield and is then blocked out from the side, thereby letting the ball-carrier run through the opening in the line.
the piece of wood, shaped somewhat like a shoe hollowed at the heel, and moving on a pivot, used in playing the game of trapball.
the game of trapball.
Slang. mouth: Keep your trap shut.
Slang: Sometimes Disparaging and Offensive. (especially in anime) a crossdressing man who is perceived as or passes as a woman: a disparaging and offensive term when referring to a trans woman.
Chiefly British. a carriage, especially a light, two-wheeled one.
to catch in a trap; ensnare: to trap foxes.
to catch by stratagem, artifice, or trickery.
to furnish or set with traps.
to provide (a drain or the like) with a trap.
to stop and hold by a trap, as air in a pipe.
Baseball. to catch (a ball) as or immediately after it hits the ground.
Football. to execute a trap against (a defensive player).
to set traps for game: He was busy trapping.
to engage in the business of trapping animals for their furs.
Trapshooting. to work the trap.
- trap·like, adjective
Other definitions for trap (2 of 4)
traps, Informal. personal belongings; baggage.
Other definitions for trap (3 of 4)
any of various fine-grained, dark-colored igneous rocks having a more or less columnar structure, especially some form of basalt.
- Also called traprock.
Other definitions for trap (4 of 4)
a ladder or ladderlike device used to reach a loft, attic, etc.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use trap in a sentence
The second night after we arranged this trap configuration, the male fish owl of the Faata River pair approached the enclosure and ate half the salmon inside before stumbling onto the noose carpet on the bank and engaging the trap transmitter.The quest to snare—and save—the world’s largest owl | Jonathan Slaght | August 28, 2020 | Popular-Science
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that once you build it, they will come.Content marketing fails: How to analyze and improve | Michael Doer | August 27, 2020 | Search Engine Watch
BofA says steer clear of so-called “value traps” like Mohawk Industries, KeyCorp, and Flowserve Corporation.12 value stocks to buy right now—and 3 to avoid—according to Bank of America | Anne Sraders | August 25, 2020 | Fortune
Kang and colleagues confirmed that 4VA can attract locusts in the real world by setting sticky traps baited with the pheromone.A single molecule may entice normally solitary locusts to form massive swarms | Jonathan Lambert | August 12, 2020 | Science News
NASA’s Spirit rover, for example, met its end after getting stuck in a sand trap on Mars in 2009.Wiggly wheels might help rovers plow through loose lunar soils | Maria Temming | June 26, 2020 | Science News For Students
But Reconcile is from a slightly different arm of Houston hip-hop—more focused on spiritual triumph over the trap.Down With the King: Christianity Isn’t Hiding in Rap’s Closet | Stereo Williams | December 28, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Do not fall into the trap of being swayed by political notion.
You now have a growing number of candidates and elected officials who can do that without having to fall into that trap.
By the time Sotloff was allowed to leave the border crossing, the trap was set.Obama Administration and Sotloff Family Battle Over Blame for Journalist’s Kidnapping | Josh Rogin | September 22, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
In this way, the U.S. would avoid the trap of being viewed, once again, as the leader of an anti-Islamic crusade.
Sometimes the animal was caught in a trap which was nothing less than a hut of logs with a single entrance.Our Little Korean Cousin | H. Lee M. Pike
Haggard had disappeared with the celerity of a harlequin who jumps through a trap.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3) | Charles James Wills
A patch of light fell clear on the side of the trap, and on Longcluse's ungloved hand as he leaned on it.Checkmate | Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
A trap-door had opened in the floor of his consciousness; his first, early love sheltered in his aching heart again.The Wave | Algernon Blackwood
But if they all pick up the broadcast that this is where to get a free ride home, I'll have just another sand trap here.Fee of the Frontier | Horace Brown Fyfe
British Dictionary definitions for trap (1 of 3)
a mechanical device or enclosed place or pit in which something, esp an animal, is caught or penned
any device or plan for tricking a person or thing into being caught unawares
anything resembling a trap or prison
a fitting for a pipe in the form of a U-shaped or S-shaped bend that contains standing water to prevent the passage of gases
any similar device
a device that hurls clay pigeons into the air to be fired at by trapshooters
any one of a line of boxlike stalls in which greyhounds are enclosed before the start of a race
See trap door
a light two-wheeled carriage
a slang word for mouth
golf an obstacle or hazard, esp a bunker
(plural) jazz slang percussion instruments
(usually plural) Australian obsolete, slang a policeman
(tr) to catch, take, or pen in or as if in a trap; entrap
(tr) to ensnare by trickery; trick
(tr) to provide (a pipe) with a trap
to set traps in (a place), esp for animals
- traplike, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for trap (2 of 3)
an obsolete word for trappings (def. 2)
(tr often foll by out) to dress or adorn
- See also traps
British Dictionary definitions for trap (3 of 3)
any fine-grained often columnar dark igneous rock, esp basalt
any rock in which oil or gas has accumulated
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with trap
see fall into a trap; mind like a steel trap.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.