Definition of booby trap in English:

booby trap


  • 1An apparently harmless object containing a concealed explosive device designed to detonate when someone touches it.

    • ‘One tree trunk mould might conceal radio equipment but another shaped like a piece of camel dung hid a booby trap that could blow the tyre off a truck.’
    • ‘Instead, the Marines were leaving a promotion ceremony when one of them apparently triggered a booby trap, causing the explosion.’
    • ‘Larkin said they believe one of the bombs was a booby trap to protect a drug-producing operation and was built to be detonated from a remote location.’
    • ‘Land mines and booby traps are a constant threat.’
    • ‘The perils include projectiles, grenades, land mines, rockets and booby traps.’
    • ‘Police were turning us all back and there was talk of maybe a booby trap bomb at which point I decided to try and get a taxi the 5km back to my hotel.’
    • ‘Officers seized a number of pipe bombs, a booby trap device, a handgun and ammunition and a quantity of bomb-making equipment.’
    • ‘Troops began searching the compound and found the weapons haul - and a deadly booby trap.’
    • ‘Recovery of the booby trap bombs comes after a summer of high activity by local dissident groups.’
    • ‘When I asked why, he explained that the wire was a typical trigger for an Improvised Explosive Device, better known as a booby trap.’
    • ‘A booby trap bomb was found outside the store in the centre of Skipton.’
    • ‘The employment of several other weapons (primarily land mines, booby traps, and incendiary devices) is also restricted where civilians are concerned.’
    • ‘When I asked them what was going on, they told me they had four casualties from that booby trap, and two were dead and two were wounded.’
    • ‘Late last year, terrorists placed a booby trap bomb underneath his car outside his home on the outskirts of north Belfast.’
    • ‘The bomb had a booby trap trigger sequence - once the case was opened it would begin a countdown to explode in only twenty four hours.’
    • ‘It does not matter if you use a bomb or a booby trap; as long as you target a particular person, it's assassination.’
    • ‘He finds a grenade left behind by the soldiers and sets up a booby trap for them in his father's outdoor tent.’
    • ‘He was killed together with two young boys by an IRA booby trap on the pleasure craft he maintained in Ireland.’
    • ‘The robotic vehicle, Cyclops, is a coup for the diving teams, giving them the ability to remotely attack and defeat an explosive device or booby trap.’
    • ‘Yesterday's discovery of 10 guns, two pipe bombs, a booby trap device and hundreds of rounds of ammunition had almost certainly saved more lives.’
  • 2A trap intended as a practical joke, especially one involving an object placed on top of a door ajar ready to fall on a person passing through.

    • ‘Occasionally they would sneak down in the middle of the night to play some prank on the Vandals, like steal their flag or set up a booby trap outside the door.’
    trap, booby trap, snare
    View synonyms


  • [with object] Place a booby trap in or on (an object or area)

    ‘a booby-trapped parcel’
    • ‘The fighting will be ferocious and unyielding, the casualties enormous, the narrow alleyways are already booby-trapped.’
    • ‘When she'd tried to booby trap her house from him months ago, he always got through her tricks.’
    • ‘There, everything from buildings to dead bodies to cars to entire streets were booby-trapped.’
    • ‘Lewisham Council says it found one tower-block rooftop booby-trapped by pirates ‘putting a 240V electrical supply on the locks’.’
    • ‘No urban terrorist group has poisoned our water courses or booby-trapped our footpaths.’
    • ‘So it wasn't any contact with civilians, on the contrary, with diehard terrorists who were booby-trapping every corner, every alley, every door.’
    • ‘My room is practically booby-trapped with clothes, but having a bird around might be alright.’
    • ‘Meth dealers, manufacturers and users are notorious for booby-trapping their stashes.’
    • ‘The official said the apartment was booby-trapped with explosives.’
    • ‘Private citizens can't mine their backyards or booby-trap their front doors.’
    • ‘When US guards went to inspect the damage outside the embassy the following morning, they discovered the area was booby-trapped with several more bombs.’
    • ‘After a thorough search of his house, we also found light weapons and pistols, and eight booby-trapped suitcases, a large group of passports, and codes.’
    • ‘They have booby-trapped the entrances to allies.’
    • ‘One feels the movement should have been booby-trapped by its own pioneers in order to repel the historians of the future.’
    • ‘They've been booby-trapping it, laying homemade bombs.’
    • ‘Martin, who wept as he gave evidence, denied having booby-trapped the house or having lain in wait for the burglars.’
    • ‘During the last few classes of the week I began formulating plans of how to booby trap certain rooms for those who wished to take the party a step further.’
    • ‘Some stations, he says, booby-trap transmitters with CS spray to keep them from being stolen, and one has kept pit bulls on a tower-block roof in Hackney.’
    • ‘I begin to wonder if the trail might be booby-trapped.’
    • ‘It could have been booby-trapped with explosives.’


booby trap

/ˈbuːbi trap/