Main definitions of trap in English

: trap1trap2trap3

trap1

noun

  • 1A device or enclosure designed to catch and retain animals, typically by allowing entry but not exit or by catching hold of a part of the body.

    • ‘Animals caught in inhumane traps will languish not for hours, but for days.’
    • ‘Bear and other animal traps are fairly inexpensive, and they do the job quite well.’
    • ‘It would also ban the use of snares and traps to catch wild animals.’
    • ‘Billy is determined to catch this mischievous animal that eats the bait from Billy's traps without ever getting caught.’
    • ‘All of us must have seen pictures of animals caught in traps, a horrible slow painful death.’
    • ‘The film opens with a young girl baying for help, her foot caught in an animal trap.’
    • ‘These poor dumb harmless animals are cruelly caught in a trap made of a short chain and wire rope and a three-foot bar driven into the ground.’
    • ‘If you catch the animal in the trap, transport it to some woods or take it to a wildlife agency.’
    • ‘The only legal leg-hold traps nowadays are designed to hold the animal and must allow some space between the jaws of the trap so the animal still feels its leg and thus won't eat it off to get out of the trap.’
    • ‘For over a hundred years, lobstermen have been using those familiar box-shaped net traps to catch lobsters.’
    • ‘I felt sure the gum on the precarious trap would catch the mouse tonight.’
    • ‘For twenty years Joe has weighed, marked, and released flying squirrels that enter live traps attached to tree trunks.’
    • ‘He dreamt that his hand was caught in a bear trap.’
    • ‘If you cannot get near the animal or must set a trap to catch it, it is probably feral.’
    • ‘Thus, consistently entering the same house immediately after release from a trap was taken as evidence that an animal was resident in that house.’
    • ‘He escapes and gets his log leg caught in a bear trap.’
    • ‘She had her hands over her mouth, and her eyes looked like an animal caught in a trap, bleeding its life away.’
    • ‘The hedgehogs will be caught in specially baited traps before being put to sleep with gas and then killed by lethal injection.’
    • ‘But three species make up 87 percent of the animals found in abandoned traps.’
    • ‘‘I borrowed some bamboo baskets from the department, put in baits and set the trap to catch the shrimp,’ Dong said.’
    snare, net
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The compartment from which a greyhound is released at the start of a race.
      • ‘Saturday morning traffic, cars stalled like greyhounds waiting for the traps to open.’
      • ‘Like a greyhound out of a trap at Harold's Cross on a Friday night John Bee sprung into action.’
      • ‘Only four runners went to traps for this race with the Martin Sweeney trained Windseye Pride the odds on favourite at 4 / 6.’
      • ‘Indeed when she led out of traps the race as a contest appeared all over.’
      • ‘An Gaeltacht came out of traps like a good greyhound, took the game doggedly and determinedly to the leaders, and had them reeling as they attempted to hold the Western champions at bay.’
      • ‘The fifth race was re-run after the traps failed to open on time, and it resulted in victory going to Ardbeg Smokey which won in 16.66.’
      • ‘But it's like, he's scarcely out of the traps when the race is over, if you know what I mean.’
      • ‘Like greyhounds out of traps, the opening of the doors sparks a mad rush for the station exits.’
      • ‘Only four went to traps for the opening race over 575 yards.’
      • ‘Tyrone came racing out of the traps like well-trained greyhounds hungry for the only prize that mattered.’
      • ‘Waterford started in a blaze of glory, racing out of the traps but the worldly wise Claremen just bided their time and struck with deadly force.’
      • ‘The supporting card provided top class entertainment despite the fact that there was some controversy regarding the opening of the traps for the fifth race.’
  • 2A situation in which people lie in wait to make a surprise attack.

    ‘we were fed false information by a double agent and walked straight into a trap’
    • ‘Over a career involving many dozens of battles, sieges, and skirmishes, Cromwell was beaten once: at Clonmel in May 1650, when he walked into a trap laid by Hugh O'Neill.’
    • ‘As we said, the American soldier is qualified to perform cinematic roles only and the enemy will lose his heaviest casualties in these traps.’
    • ‘Much influenced by the battle of Cannae, he dwelt on the need for the left wing to fall back before the French, drawing them deeper into the trap.’
    ambush, lure, decoy, bait
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A trick by which someone is misled into acting contrary to their interests or intentions.
      ‘by keeping quiet I was walking into a trap’
      • ‘I suspect Bush may be walking into a trap in considering retaliation.’
      • ‘This is a trap, a trick, something sneaky to test me.’
      • ‘I felt he was so used to being dismissed that he found my compliments false, a trick, a trap, a delusion.’
      trick, stratagem, ploy, ruse, wile, deception, artifice, subterfuge, device, trickery
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 An unpleasant situation from which it is hard to escape.
      ‘they fell into the trap of relying too little on equity financing’
      • ‘But he too fell into the trap of name-calling and distortion when he derided ‘populism of the left that rejects globalisation’.’
      • ‘If we could adapt our image and actions to blend in with the pale landscape of suburban life, then we could escape the trap of family obligation and expectations.’
      • ‘By far one of the most thought provoking reads I've had in a long time. I fell into the trap of buying the movie not 10 minutes after putting it down.’
      • ‘Perhaps some of the players fell into the trap that somehow Manchester United had a divine right to continue winning things.’
      • ‘It would be easy in such a story to fall into some familiar traps in writing about race relations.’
      • ‘The call for women to start families earlier fell into the trap of ignoring the social and economic realities forcing many women to put off childbirth, they said.’
      • ‘Pleasure turns to horror when the realize that they have walked into a cunning trap, where the harder they try to run, the worse their predicament.’
      • ‘This morning I almost fell into the trap of wishing for quieter times.’
      • ‘He fell into the trap of flogging the players at training and settling too early on his Test team.’
      • ‘Others fell into the trap I narrowly avoided while deciding on my outfit - accessorizing into hipness.’
      • ‘It's true that the film is overtly message driven, but that's a difficult trap to escape.’
      • ‘Williams has not fallen into the rookie trap of overpursuing frequently.’
      • ‘Believe me, you will eventually find that you are relieved you were able to escape the trap of unhappiness you were in!’
      • ‘Most very local papers escape the trap of defining news strictly as events.’
      • ‘Vice-captain Matt Burke said the Australians had to concentrate on their own game and not fall into the trap of watching the scoreboard.’
      • ‘I will have to avoid falling into the trap of trying too hard.’
      • ‘I'm confident that they calculate the ability of first homebuyers to afford homes by focusing solely on those who, against the odds, have escaped the rent trap.’
      • ‘One way or another, sooner or later, consumers and producers will escape the sugar trap that ensnares them both.’
      • ‘Looking back now I realise that I fell into the trap of over-training.’
      • ‘How can the Democratic candidates escape the trap they set for themselves?’
      ambush, lure, decoy, bait
      snare, net
      View synonyms
  • 3with modifier A container or device used to collect a specified thing.

    ‘one fuel filter and water trap are sufficient on the fuel system’
    • ‘A repair crew have completed the updating of water traps in the centre of town, which were not level with the pavement since it was raised many years ago.’
    • ‘But the pipeline cannot take the amount of water from the silt trap and hence it overflows into the lake.’
    • ‘We found high concentrations of CPP516 in surficial sediments and particulate matter collected in sediment traps.’
    • ‘We replaced it with a new one after cleaning the lint trap.’
    • ‘The widening that has resulted is most welcome and is understood water traps have also been included in the present scheme.’
    • ‘Seeds were collected from seed traps placed along six equally spaced radii extending from each of the eight sampling points.’
    • ‘Ash traps and litter bins would be scattered around the room with cushions and pillows strategically placed to represent water hazards and sand bunkers.’
    • ‘A grease trap should be provided for the wastewater inflow pipe.’
    • ‘Prior to ozonation air was then passed through a water trap at 15°C to maintain a relative humidity of 60%.’
    • ‘Experts recommend pumping your septic tank every two to three years, unless you use grease traps and particle filters.’
    • ‘Litter samples were collected using litter traps at monthly intervals in all forest stands.’
    • ‘Pitchers are pitfall traps containing enzymes that digest insects and small animals.’
    • ‘Stacking this way also avoids creating a water trap, or gutter, between the bales, which can lead to water entering the bales between the film layers over an extended time.’
    • ‘Sligo County Council staff are in the process of updating manholes and water traps in the town over the past few weeks.’
    • ‘A coin trap collects any loose change which falls out of the pockets of garments being washed.’
    • ‘They contend this might protect them from flood waters from the Burren, but would act as a water trap for flood waters coming off the Mourne Mountains.’
    1. 3.1 A curve in the waste pipe from a bathtub, sink, or toilet that is always full of liquid and prevents gases from coming up the pipe into the building.
      • ‘Close the water valves and disconnect the water lines just above the valves and the drain piping at the trap.’
      • ‘Another common practice is the addition of automotive antifreeze to toilets and sink traps.’
      • ‘For the first time, I've experienced a most unwelcome intrusion into the most sacred of personal spaces - the toilet trap.’
      • ‘I didn't complain as I unclogged and scoured the grease traps and toilets.’
      • ‘If some such object is presently lodged in your toilet trap, it may be necessary to detach the bowl from the floor.’
    2. 3.2 A bunker or other hollow on a golf course.
      • ‘It can maintain the shape of sand traps and bunkers as well as quickly create flower beds and tree rings in other parts of the landscape.’
      • ‘How many of you playing out of a sand trap at a local golf course have considered which beach the sand originated from?’
      • ‘They first looked at magnetic crystals found in mud samples from a water trap of an Australian golf course.’
      • ‘He kept Europe ahead at the ninth with a sensational bunker shot from an awkward lie in a greenside trap, followed by a successful putt.’
      • ‘We have confirmed from the ground and verified through satellite imagery that this place has no fairways, just one big sand trap.’
  • 4A light, two-wheeled carriage pulled by a horse or pony.

    • ‘He sighed then wondered if she was pulling them into a trap.’
    • ‘The ponymen at the Gap of Dunloe use smaller horse traps than the ones used by the Killarney jarveys.’
    • ‘From his window he could see the Pyramids, but all he wanted to see was a photograph of Tommy, the pony which pulled the trap for the two of them on their last ride together.’
    • ‘The guests arrived in all modes of transport, horse and trap, horse and carriage and a bicycle made for two.’
    • ‘At about 3.30 pm, the Mayor will be ferried into Micklegate in a trap pulled by Santa's magic reindeer.’
    • ‘Dozens of gypsies had assembled in their pony traps to welcome in the New Year.’
    • ‘Also at this years parade there is a section for vintage tractors, cars, bicycles, pony and traps and any other form of ancient transport.’
    • ‘This year there will be a vintage section to the parade which will include old forms of transport such as cars, bikes, pony and traps etc. as well as vintage machinery such as old tractors.’
    • ‘This would include vintage tractors, cars, bicycles, ponies and traps and any other kind of vintage transport or machinery.’
    • ‘Nowadays you wouldn't be able to hear it for traffic but it was so peaceful, just horses and traps.’
    • ‘Buggies and ponies and traps are to be found running through the streets in that community every day.’
    • ‘All these animals were pets apart from the two work horses which pulled the trap to town to take my father to work in the family business.’
    • ‘Now we can start to conceive of a car without thinking of horses and suspension and traps and carriages.’
    • ‘Before they were in the Christmas tree business the Bergin sisters ran a tourist venture with their Clydesdale horses and traps.’
    • ‘There were other wheels made for traps, sidecars and carriages.’
    • ‘Here there are fewer Mercs and more ponies and traps are required to haul entire families of up to a dozen, cartloads of household appliances or mountains of hay or grass.’
    • ‘Got a bottle of milk & a man, horse & trap to pull us through the Waitaho river which is about a mile from the house.’
    • ‘The medical student came upon an accident in a city street where he found the man, a wealthy entrepreneur, impaled by the shaft that joined his trap and horse.’
    • ‘Bet all this boiling rage and impatient was absent in the days of pony traps.’
    • ‘Work will include the laying of concrete and tarmacadam in a parking area for traps and ponies that take thousands of visitors through the spectacular, seven-mile gap.’
  • 5A device for hurling an object such as a clay pigeon into the air to be shot at.

    • ‘I noticed the first little clump of snowdrops, by an old beech tree, as I was setting up my clay pigeon trap on the top of a steep bank.’
    • ‘We had to load the clay pigeons into the traps.’
    • ‘Now Bill wasn't too good on his feet but he was a very keen clay pigeon shooter and kept his old hammer gun hidden in his cabin along with a clay pigeon trap which he handed to his friend.’
    1. 5.1historical (in the game of trapball) the shoe-shaped device that is hit with a bat to send the ball into the air.
  • 6

    short for trapdoor
  • 7informal A person's mouth (used in expressions to do with speaking)

    ‘keep your trap shut!’
    • ‘So I keep my trap shut in the café while Neo and his painfully cool friends rave over what we've just seen.’
    • ‘So rather than hurt your feelings, he figured he'd keep his trap shut.’
    • ‘I shall henceforth keep my trap shut about the food.’
    • ‘He doesn't know the details yet and he should keep his trap shut until he does.’
    • ‘The tautological trap snapped shut: the discussion had become the work, which had the goal of becoming the object of a discussion.’
    • ‘However, I do know more about dervish people than you, so shut your trap.’
    • ‘When they reached the border the uncle warned the nephew to keep his trap shut and let him do the talking.’
    • ‘He once said: ‘A minister should either keep his trap shut or resign.’’
    • ‘I am glad I kept my impertinent trap shut two years ago, and I am now looking forward immensely to watching the drama next Tuesday night.’
    • ‘Anyhow, as I'm no football commentator, let me shut my trap as I may just get into territory where I cannot defend myself.’
    • ‘Eddie keeps his trap shut as the grand final approaches.’
    • ‘This doctor should mind her own business, shut her trap and get a life.’
    • ‘I kept my trap shut while he was foul mouthing my bosses and I just laughed along.’
    • ‘In other words, he should mind his business and keep his trap shut.’
    • ‘They landed in her cleavage, and when she looked up at me to complain, she must have seen the look of a cold-blooded murderer in my eyes because she shut her trap real quick.’
    • ‘I am NOT an interfering busybody - leastways I can keep my trap firmly shut on any conundrum I don't know about.’
    • ‘I shut my trap for the next few minutes, and then muttered ‘Good One’.’
    • ‘So, why do some think that Charles should keep his trap shut?’
    • ‘I don't care if you all know it already, I'm keeping my trap shut.’
    • ‘To make a long story short, he who is able to keep his trap shut, suck wind, and bury his head in the sand will always be valued by anyone who lives in a glass hut.’
    mouth, jaws, lips, maw
    View synonyms
  • 8usually trapsinformal Percussion instruments, typically in a jazz band.

    • ‘Meanwhile rattling traps and keyboard washes take a stately walk towards the desert horizon.’
    • ‘Before you've even taken it all in, the traps and hi-hats have locked right in, as well as a deeper, grittier guitar snarl.’
    • ‘And, placed with care, the balance between cymbals and traps was perfect.’
    • ‘The drum room boasts a percussion-friendly low-mid frequency boost that's tunable with movable traps.’
    • ‘The band has one guy steady on the traps and two more on pan-knockers, so they can't help but stumble upon the occasional sweet beat.’
  • 9US informal A place where drugs are sold.

    ‘a trap full of dealers’
  • 10Baseball American Football
    An act of trapping the ball.

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Catch (an animal) in a trap.

    • ‘Once the mouse is trapped, it's a simple matter of driving down the road a few miles and releasing it.’
    • ‘One contestant wolfed down an animal tripe taco, while another was asked to try to trap a slippery pig drenched in butter.’
    • ‘Newburyport's free-roaming cats were trapped, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered before being returned to the streets.’
    • ‘Firstly their lack of success trapping wolves has meant that they have been unable to fit radio collars and so cannot accurately follow the animals' movements.’
    • ‘The fear of plague necessitated a thorough clean-up operation involving a major task to trap the rats and kill them.’
    • ‘Mice were trapped in farm-houses in October and November 1998.’
    • ‘Russell, a fifth generation sheep farmer, has trapped wild dogs most of his life and has come out of retirement to help control the explosion in the wild dog population.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, prairie dog colonies are destroyed, and prairie dogs are trapped or frozen to feed captive ferrets in an endless cycle of failure.’
    • ‘Once he dreamed he was trying to trap foxes but kept catching Dalmatians.’
    • ‘Three rats were trapped in Kumarakom, a famous tourist spot in the district, and two were positive for leptospiral antibodies.’
    • ‘She trapped rabbits and cooked them in the dorm.’
    • ‘The second panel describes how coastal tribes came on seasonal trips for food, trapping birds and catching eels.’
    • ‘The bushmeat trade is rife in parts of Africa, where animals ranging from rats, wild dogs, lions leopards and rare apes are trapped for food.’
    • ‘The lions were trapped and then put into a gaming pen where the king could hunt them.’
    • ‘Warfarin resistance areas in Europe are shown and locations where resistant rats were trapped in the wild are indicated.’
    • ‘Most of the wolves trapped by biologists in Montana test positive for exposure to parvo, she said, but few succumb.’
    • ‘It seems the rats got worse when the cats were trapped.’
    • ‘Mice were trapped and weighed during our field studies in Goegap in 2002.’
    • ‘He told police in interview that after trapping a cat he would hit it over the head with a large hammer.’
    • ‘The wolf was trapped and killed because it epitomized the wilderness that settlers sought to tame and replace with farms and ranches.’
    confine, catch, cut off, corner, pin down, drive into a corner, pen, hem in, close in, shut in, hedge in, imprison, hold captive
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Prevent (someone) from escaping from a place.
      ‘twenty workers were trapped by flames’
      • ‘Millions of working people and their families are trapped in a vicious circle from which there is no escape.’
      • ‘I was trapped, caged, imprisoned in a dungeon of my own making.’
      • ‘And he realises he is trapped in a vice from which he cannot escape, so he resorts to repression.’
      • ‘Some nights he dreams his wife and daughter are trapped in a circle of flame away from him.’
      • ‘The hopelessness and lack of escape traps the young girl in a never-ending cycle of exploitation.’
      • ‘He proved to be a tall man, intimidating the false lieutenant enough that he slithered sideways along the main console like a deer trapped by a cougar.’
      • ‘Conservationists say 120,000 elephants are now trapped in Botswana, with no natural routes to follow back to the river.’
      • ‘She'd trapped a mouse behind it and was moaning in frustration at not being able to go in for the kill.’
      • ‘During the day, we were trapped in the confines of the Schumann metro stop.’
      • ‘By the time Mary and her sisters had reached the bottom of the stairs, the front door was up in flames and had trapped the family in the house.’
      • ‘The checkpoint opens and closes randomly, trapping students and workers on the wrong side after a day at work or school, preventing them from returning home.’
      • ‘If your mum and dad were trapped in marriage for twenty years not because they loved each other, but because they were in need of the comfort, would you write a song about it?’
      • ‘When late one evening neighbours noticed smoke coming from the house there was no hope of Blanche escaping - she was trapped in her home made prison.’
      • ‘The sheets were burning around me and I was trapped in a deadly circle of flames.’
      • ‘He had an amazing escape when he was trapped under a 30-ton skip for 90 minutes and emerged with hardly a scratch.’
      • ‘I sometimes feel that I am trapped here, surrounded by concrete, and that I will never get out.’
      • ‘The thick smoke and flames trapped people upstairs.’
      • ‘A stark warning was issued this week when a mother and her baby were trapped in their burning home after arsonists torched their only escape route.’
      • ‘Like many other girls, the teenager was trapped in a vicious circle.’
      • ‘Pictorially, for Louis de Roncherolles there is no escape; he is trapped for perpetuity within a closed circle of mourning and death.’
    2. 1.2 Have (something, typically a part of the body) held tightly by something so that it cannot move or be freed.
      ‘he had trapped his finger in a spring-loaded hinge’
      • ‘He is on crutches after snapping a hamstring and trapping a nerve in his back in the Northern Counties East League Cup win over Yorkshire Amateur.’
      • ‘He was due to have surgery after trapping his finger in a bike chain.’
      • ‘Walking along the corridor, I then trapped the middle finger of my left hand in a door.’
      • ‘When he arrived at the hospital on the day of the operation Tony, who was injured after trapping his finger in his bike chain, was playing on computers.’
      • ‘He thought at first he'd simply trapped a nerve, which was causing the feeling of numbness and tingling in his right arm.’
      • ‘Her whole body is totally trapped - if she moves at all, her bones break.’
      • ‘He had recommended installing added safety measures and even devised a device that could be fitted to prevent someone being trapped.’
      • ‘Scar tissue had formed, trapping a nerve, so I had to have another operation nine months later.’
      • ‘Not only did he go through the trauma of trapping his finger in a door at his school, but he then had to be taken back to the hospital on three days and had to endure 14 hours without food before his injury could be stitched.’
      • ‘A mountaineer had to cut off his right arm to free himself after being trapped under a falling boulder.’
      • ‘He had wrongly accused him of trapping his fingers in a taxi door when he punched him to the ground in front of his wife and 12-year-old son.’
      • ‘She didn't have time to scream, or escape, because soon her whole body was trapped.’
      • ‘‘For the past two months I haven't been able to exercise much because I trapped a nerve in my leg,’ he said.’
      • ‘His body is trapped permanently in a glacier beneath the mountain that took him.’
      • ‘Continuing to pull Uke's arm towards his own head, Tori sits down as close to his right heel as possible and, lying back, clamps his knees together tightly trapping Uke's right arm.’
      • ‘Cassian valiantly resisted the urge to trap them beneath his free hand.’
      • ‘She also realised most of her body was trapped, and this made Victoria scared.’
      • ‘Sometimes it can be genuinely disabling without the right treatment, if a nerve is trapped or a disc is bulging.’
      • ‘He punched her on the back to get her breathing and forced down pieces of wood, which her head was trapped between, to free her.’
      • ‘They told her she just needed physiotherapy but, in fact, they had trapped the median nerve, and it was only four months later that a Manchester consultant realised what was wrong.’
      get stuck, catch, get caught
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 Induce (someone), by means of trickery or deception, to do something they would not otherwise want to do.
      ‘I hoped to trap him into an admission’
      • ‘They expect to meet someone there to click with, but fear being trapped and made a fool of.’
      • ‘It was this lure of unearthing the unknown that drove him and sometimes trapped him into making mistakes.’
      • ‘I think he was, in effect, trapped or tricked by the silly and dangerous set up which the highway authority had decided to institute.’
      • ‘She was trapped by her sister, Carol, who tricked her into confessing her secret and used a hidden tape recorder to record her words.’
      • ‘Neither was he trapped nor did they fool him for a nanosecond.’
      • ‘They trap you and lure you in with catchy taglines and suspenseful previews.’
      • ‘I could tell he was trying to trap me, but I did not let myself be caught by my tongue.’
      • ‘I don't, like anybody else, want to be trapped or be misrepresented intentionally by someone.’
      • ‘Register readers described how the ‘neat’ trick could trap the unwary.’
      • ‘So, too, is David trapped when the prophet Nathan uses a story to catch his king's conscience.’
      • ‘They liked seeing if they could trick and trap her.’
      • ‘But this then was a lure, to trap unions into giving up their defense of their pensions, their social security and other pensions.’
      • ‘Reporters were trying to trap him in some kind of contradiction.’
      • ‘The trick is trapping someone into thinking it the problem has to be dealt with in polar opposites.’
      trick, dupe, deceive, cheat, lure, inveigle, beguile, fool, hoodwink, seduce, cajole, wheedle, gull
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4Baseball American Football Catch (the ball) after it has briefly touched the ground.
      • ‘Philadelphia players streamed from the dugout, insisting Ruble had trapped the ball.’
      • ‘Then Manny Mota hits a fly ball to Greg Luzinski who tries to catch it but the umps claim he trapped it against the wall.’
    5. 1.5Soccer Bring (the ball) under control with the feet or other part of the body on receiving it.
      • ‘But already this, unlike this afternoon's affairs, looks like a proper match, with passing and players who can trap the ball and that.’
      • ‘Forlan traps the ball on the left-hand side of the box and volleys it first time through a crowded area and to the left of a diving Sylva.’
      • ‘Because there is no doubt about his ability, as evidenced by the superb piece of skill he showed when trapping a through ball in the first half before jinking his way past three players to work an opening.’
      • ‘That's usually English commentator-speak for: ‘He can trap a ball without falling over.’’
      • ‘After 13 minutes a long punt up field by Worns found Kevin Kuranyi who trapped the ball with his chest, turned but fired wide from the edge of the box.’

Origin

Old English træppe (in coltetræppe ‘Christ's thorn’); related to Middle Dutch trappe and medieval Latin trappa, of uncertain origin. The verb dates from late Middle English.

Pronunciation

trap

/træp//trap/

Main definitions of trap in English

: trap1trap2trap3

trap2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]usually as adjective trapped
archaic
  • Put trappings on (a horse)

    ‘gaily trapped mules’

Origin

Late Middle English: from the obsolete noun trap ‘trappings’, from Old French drap ‘drape’.

Pronunciation

trap

/trap//træp/

Main definitions of trap in English

: trap1trap2trap3

trap3

(also traprock)

noun

North American
  • Basalt or a similar dark, fine-grained igneous rock.

    • ‘This mineral may have been derived from the mafic traprock.’

Origin

Late 18th century: from Swedish trapp, from trappa ‘stair’ (because of the often stair-like appearance of its outcroppings).

Pronunciation

trap

/træp//trap/