Definition of entrap in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Catch (someone or something) in or as in a trap.

    ‘she was entrapped by family expectations’
    • ‘The lower bands would cut tax for the less well-off, but the new higher bands would entrap many middle-class households, simply because house price inflation has increased the value of their homes.’
    • ‘Even now, nobody really understands why the glow of celebrity, so swiftly dimmed on the brows of the other likely lackwits, stayed with the couple whose incompetent, fumbling romance entrapped a nation's heart.’
    • ‘The opening of the piece begins with the piano and slowly entraps the ‘voices’ of the string duo, creating a light, enchanting mood that takes on a life all its own.’
    • ‘The documentary provides an extraordinary glimpse into the attitudes of a working-class district and the desperate world of prostitutes entrapped by drug addiction, poverty and patriarchal cruelty.’
    • ‘It suggests that, on the contrary, it is this very world picture that prevents progress and entraps people in a culture of impotent resentment.’
    • ‘There's always a strange dichotomy between a city being entrapped by its representation and liberated by it.’
    • ‘Reading his poems feels like you are watching him walk into a room full of mirrors; each entrap a small vision of the poet, but no image is ever complete.’
    • ‘Sometimes they'll throw barbed wire and any other refuse into these ponds, and the diver can be entrapped in that substance.’
    • ‘It is during this multi-crisis period that a victory from our athletes that could cure our mind-set, which is entrapped by the nightmare of sporting disasters.’
    • ‘Tension builds up, emotion fluxes, comedy alternates with despair, as the horror of the situation in which the three are entrapped unfolds.’
    • ‘If this is part of the reason the anecdote raises a smile, comedy would seem to be functioning here at its moral, corrective level, scuffing the shine on vanity and entrapping the diabolical self.’
    • ‘Here is another push by capitalist forces to entrap areas of economic life that had once been outside the sway of the commodity form.’
    • ‘With the canopy of a star-spangled sky, the frozen stillness of stone entrapping centuries of history, and the soft sound of the waters, it is truly an experience that belongs to the realm of the unforgettable.’
    • ‘No ordinary woman could have entrapped such a large-scale prelate.’
    • ‘He said the decision would backfire and result in inefficiencies as the customs office was still entrapped in bureaucratic problems.’
    • ‘But for those who are entrapped within it - much as they have once been entrapped within nation-states - digital diaspora is the place of no-return.’
    • ‘These people are entrapped, doomed, lost forever.’
    • ‘The French philosopher is best known for his theory that consumer society forms a kind of code that gives individuals the illusion of choice while in fact entrapping them in a vast web of simulated reality.’
    • ‘The matrices tangle and entrap understandings of creation and knowledge to expose their threadbare construction.’
    • ‘The ‘click-happy’ masses of the advanced cyber age are already entrapped in a vicious cyber cycle of meaningless ‘clickery’.’
    trap, snare, ensnare, entangle, enmesh
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    1. 1.1 Trick or deceive (someone), especially by inducing them to commit a crime in order to secure their prosecution.
      • ‘However, village residents flatly denied he was involved in embezzlement, saying that it was a dirty plot to entrap the clergyman.’
      • ‘There's an old journalist question used to entrap people - it's so unethical, it's a joke.’
      • ‘I've thought about it for several days, and the more I think about it, the more I realize I was entrapped, and the police had no business spying on me and wasting my time, in order to raise funds for the city.’
      • ‘They have been unfairly targeted and the BBC has set out to try to entrap them.’
      • ‘As more and more responsible drivers are entrapped by inappropriately low limits and hidden cameras the stigma attached to speeding diminishes.’
      • ‘Perhaps more likely is the idea that British intelligence does know where he is and that they are monitoring his every move, hoping to use him as a ‘honeypot’ to entrap others.’
      • ‘First they have to explain why they used prostitutes to entrap corrupt people.’
      • ‘Welcome to the ‘surveillance society’, where the police can bug, wire-tap and even entrap you in the name of law and order.’
      • ‘It also held open the possibility that he had been entrapped by the British Secret Service.’
      • ‘A lot of citizens are unhappy that their tax dollars are being spent on stings to entrap them, but the police retort that this is a bigger safety problem than you might realize.’
      • ‘‘Advertising false psuedo-medical procedures to entrap consumers is not tolerated,’ the Minister said.’
      • ‘Now imagine a police force with the power to entrap you into crime in order to arrest you.’
      • ‘We are not out to entrap motorists, we are trying to reduce the carnage on county roads.’
      • ‘Taking entrapment first, a defendant caught in a sting almost always claims to have been entrapped.’
      • ‘There is no downside unless a criminal defense lawyer is saying to him, you may be entrapped in answering a question innocently that may be viewed as not truthful, and you might be indicted.’
      • ‘A national newspaper has been running a series of articles highlighting instances of speed camera vehicles parked in illegal places to entrap drivers.’
      • ‘This is a woman who is actively engaging the police and actively working with them to the point of suggesting how she might be able to entrap him from the very beginning of her work with the police.’
      • ‘She said there would also need to be safeguards in using surveillance recordings in court as evidence so that the person accused had the opportunity to explain what he allegedly said and the surveillance was not used to entrap the person.’
      • ‘The danger of sting operations is that the undercover cops must walk a fine line between making the bribe attractive enough to the target person and entrapping the target person.’
      • ‘The newspapers would occasionally report on famous people entrapped by the police and tried for crimes.’
      entice, lure, tempt, inveigle
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Mid 16th century: from Old French entraper, from en- ‘in’ + trappe ‘a trap’.