Meaning of TRAP in English
I. trap 1 /træp/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: træppe , treppe ]
1 . FOR ANIMALS a piece of equipment for catching animals:
The only way to catch mice is to set a trap.
He stepped into a bear trap covered in snow.
⇨ ↑ mousetrap
2 . CLEVER TRICK a clever trick that is used to catch someone or to make them do or say something that they did not intend to
lay/set a trap (for somebody)
Mr Smith has walked straight into a trap laid by the Tories.
fall/walk into a trap
Police had set a trap for hooligans at the match.
3 . BAD SITUATION an unpleasant or difficult situation that is difficult to escape from:
Amanda felt that marriage was a trap.
debt/unemployment etc trap
people caught in the unemployment trap
4 . fall into/avoid the trap of doing something to do something that seems good at the time but is not sensible or wise, or to avoid doing this:
Don’t fall into the trap of investing all your money in one place.
5 . keep your trap shut spoken a rude way of telling someone to not say anything about things that are secret:
Just keep your trap shut.
6 . shut your trap! spoken a rude way of telling someone to stop talking
7 . VEHICLE a vehicle with two wheels, pulled by a horse
8 . SPORT American English ↑ sandtrap SYN bunker British English
9 . DOG RACE a special gate from which a ↑ greyhound is set free at the beginning of a race
⇨ ↑ booby trap , ↑ death trap , ⇨ poverty trap at ↑ poverty (3), ⇨ ↑ speed trap , ↑ tourist trap
II. trap 2 BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle trapped , present participle trapping ) [transitive]
1 . IN A DANGEROUS PLACE [usually passive] to prevent someone from escaping from somewhere, especially a dangerous place:
Twenty miners were trapped underground.
Dozens of people were trapped in the rubble when the building collapsed.
There’s no way out! We’re trapped!
2 . IN A BAD SITUATION be/feel trapped to be in a bad situation from which you cannot escape
be/feel trapped in
Julia felt trapped in her role of wife and mother.
3 . ANIMAL to catch an animal or bird using a trap
4 . CATCH SOMEBODY to catch someone by forcing them into a place from which they cannot escape:
The police trapped the terrorists at a roadblock.
5 . TRICK to trick someone so that you make them do or say something that they did not intend to
trap somebody into (doing) something
I was trapped into signing a confession.
6 . CRUSH British English to get a part of your body crushed between two objects SYN pinch American English :
Mind you don’t trap your fingers in the door.
pain from a trapped nerve
7 . GAS/WATER ETC to prevent something such as gas or water from getting away:
solar panels that trap the sun’s heat
• • •
▪ catch to stop someone who is trying to escape, especially by running after them and then holding them:
He raced after her, but he couldn’t catch her.
The police caught the bank robbers after a car chase through the city.
▪ arrest if the police arrest someone, they take him or her to a police station because they think that person has done something illegal:
Wayne was arrested for dangerous driving.
The police arrested him and charged him with murder.
▪ apprehend formal if the police apprehend someone they think has done something illegal, they catch him or her:
The two men were later apprehended after they robbed another store.
The killers were never apprehended.
All of the kidnappers were apprehended and convicted.
▪ capture to catch an enemy or a criminal in order to keep them as a prisoner:
The French king was captured by the English at the battle of Poitiers in 1356.
The gunmen were finally captured after a shoot-out with the police.
▪ take somebody prisoner to catch someone, especially in a war, in order to keep them as a prisoner:
350 soldiers were killed and another 300 taken prisoner.
Ellison was taken prisoner by the Germans during the retreat to Dunkirk.
▪ trap to make someone go to a place from which they cannot escape, especially by using your skill and intelligence:
Police trapped the man inside a bar on the city’s southside.
▪ corner to force someone into a place from which they cannot escape:
He was cornered outside the school by three gang members.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012