Definition of ensnare in US English:



[with object]
  • Catch in or as in a trap.

    ‘they were ensnared in downtown traffic’
    • ‘Wires ensnared the mounts or caught riders by the neck, and more pits opened up directly beneath their feet.’
    • ‘They are not difficult to trap and experts use narcotics among other means to ensnare them.’
    • ‘Justice is not served by ensnaring the innocent.’
    • ‘When that is coupled with temporary blindness by the sun, a hidden trap lies waiting to ensnare the unwary driver.’
    • ‘One way or another, sooner or later, consumers and producers will escape the sugar trap that ensnares them both.’
    • ‘The suburbs too are spinning their capitalist webs, ensnaring yuppies and college punks.’
    • ‘That label has guaranteed consumers for more than a decade that the tuna they're buying was caught in nets that didn't ensnare dolphins.’
    • ‘Only a fool alloweth an enemy inside his own house in hope of trapping him within his own chambers when first he could set ambushments outside and perchance ensnare him there.’
    • ‘They have managed to liberate many from this ‘trap’ only to ensnare them in the homelessness maze.’
    • ‘Local producers obviously haven't yet caught on to branding their wares to ensnare the wandering green pound.’
    • ‘A nun was ensnared in a trap set by secret agents who tortured her.’
    • ‘Lapping up the lessons of the avant-garde, he spun the silkiest of cross-conceptual webs, ensnaring a generation of feverish young artists for whom cineartistic perfection was the highest imaginative feat.’
    • ‘Freed from the trap represented by life with her family and the reservation community, she finds in San Francisco an equally ensnaring trap of poverty and welfare regulations.’
    • ‘Prefiguring Expressionist chiaroscuro in their tonal brilliance, they achieve the seemingly impossible brief of ensnaring the transitory temperament of meteorological effects.’
    • ‘You can set up elaborate traps and seductions - leaving pieces out for capture to ensnare your opponent - or you can play cautiously.’
    • ‘And Western businesses and financial institutions entered the scene, too, ensnaring command economies in Western market pricing and credit practices.’
    • ‘This is a wonderful time of year to be driving on country roads and it's sometimes easy to forget, when simmering along in the dense urban traffic that so often ensnares us, just how much glorious driving terrain we have in Britain.’
    • ‘With so many traps waiting to ensnare the unwary we shouldn't be surprised that more and more of us are resorting to gifts that are less likely to betray our vulnerable cores.’
    • ‘This is a road I have used for work at various times since January 2001 and one which seems to ensnare road traffic victims like a Venus fly trap.’
    • ‘The system is fundamentally broken, ensnaring the most vulnerable in our society in a cycle of dependence and poverty while failing to realize the benefits of emerging technologies and new capabilities in health and long-term care.’
    capture, catch, seize, trap, entrap, snare, entangle, enmesh, net, bag, ambush, ensnarl
    View synonyms