- 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.
- Trapshooting, Skeet. a device for hurling clay pigeons into the air.
- 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.
- Sports. 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.
- Slang. mouth: Keep your trap shut.
- 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.
- Sports. to catch (a ball) as it rises after having just hit 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, Skeet. to work the trap.
Origin of trap1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for trap on Thesaurus.com
- traps, Informal. personal belongings; baggage.
- to furnish with or as with trappings; caparison.
Origin of trap2
- any of various fine-grained, dark-colored igneous rocks having a more or less columnar structure, especially some form of basalt.
Origin of trap3
- a ladder or ladderlike device used to reach a loft, attic, etc.
Origin of trap4
Examples from the Web for trap
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
December 28, 2014
Do not fall into the trap of being swayed by political notion.Is Pope Francis Backpedaling on Gays?
November 19, 2014
You now have a growing number of candidates and elected officials who can do that without having to fall into that trap.The Republican Rainbow Coalition Is Real
November 18, 2014
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
September 22, 2014
In this way, the U.S. would avoid the trap of being viewed, once again, as the leader of an anti-Islamic crusade.Stop the ISIS War Before It Gets Worse!
Jeffrey Sachs, Michael Shank
September 17, 2014
I might have known that the lawyer would have had me in the trap.Viviette
William J. Locke
If I was going into a trap it was just as well to let somebody know whom I was last seen with.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
What was it—madness, a nightmare, or a trap into which he had been decoyed with fiendish artfulness?The Secret Agent
The soft-hearted angel was caught in the trap set for her pity.It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
Besides, you two might like to watch how I set a trap to catch a fox.With Trapper Jim in the North Woods
Lawrence J. Leslie
- 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
- an obsolete word for trappings (def. 2)
- (tr often foll by out) to dress or adorn
- any fine-grained often columnar dark igneous rock, esp basalt
- any rock in which oil or gas has accumulated
Word Origin and History for trap
"contrivance for catching unawares," late Old English træppe "snare, trap," from Proto-Germanic *trap- (cf. Middle Dutch trappe "trap, snare"), related to Germanic words for "stair, step, tread" (cf. Middle Dutch, Middle Low German trappe, treppe, German Treppe "step, stair"). Probably akin to Old French trape, Spanish trampa "trap, pit, snare," but the exact relationship is uncertain. The connecting notion seems to be "that on which an animal steps." Sense of "deceitful practice, trickery" is first recorded c.1400. Sense in speed trap recorded from 1906. Slang meaning "mouth" is from 1776. Trap door "door in a floor or ceiling" (often hidden and leading to a passageway or secret place) is first attested late 14c.
c.1400, "ensnare (an animal), catch in a trap; encircle; capture," from trap (n.) or from Old English betræppan. Figurative use is slightly earlier (late 14c.). Related: Trapped; trapping.