Meaning of TRAP in English


I. ˈtrap noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English trap, trappe, from Old English treppe, træppe & Old French trape (of Germanic origin); akin to Middle Dutch trappe trap, step, stairs, Middle High German trappe, treppe step, stairs, Middle Low German & Middle Dutch trappen to stamp, Old English treppan to tread, Lithuanian drebeti to shake, quiver, Sanskrit dravati he runs, melts; basic meaning: running, tripping


a. : a device (as a pitfall, snare, or clamp that springs shut suddenly) for taking game or destructive animals : gin

sets his traps along the river

caught like a rat in a trap


(1) : fish trap

(2) : lobster pot

c. : trap crop

2. : something by which one is unsuspectingly or deceptively caught or stopped in an action or progress

the Indians could be superb fighters … adepts at traps and ambushes — Seth Agnew

prepared defensive traps for his opponent's attacks — G.A.Craig

with traps and obstacles … confronting us on every hand — B.N.Cardozo

expensive traps for ignorant tourists — Ann Leighton



(1) : a hinged or collapsible door or cover of an enclosed space or pit designed to give way when walked on

(2) : drop 3c

b. : any of various covered openings constructed in the floor of a stage for the passage of persons or scenery ; also : a device or machinery used to effect such a passage



(1) : a wooden instrument used in playing trapball and consisting of a pivoted arm on one end of which is placed the ball to be thrown into the air by striking the other end

(2) : a similar device used in knur and spell

b. : a device for hurling clay pigeons into the air

c. : sand trap 2

d. : the act or an instance of stopping or catching a ball close to or against the ground

e. : mousetrap 2a

f. : tilt II 6

g. : a piece of leather webbing laced between the thumb and forefinger of a baseball glove to form a pocket for receiving the ball


a. Britain : deceit , trickery

a clever, ready-witted fellow, up to all sorts of trap — Samuel Lover

b. Britain : policeman , detective

c. slang : mouth

shut your trap and listen — Richard Llewellyn

6. : a light often sporty 2- or 4-wheeled horse-drawn carriage accommodating usually 2 to 4 persons in various seating arrangements (as face-to-face or back-to-back)

7. : any of various devices for preventing the passage of something often while allowing other matter to proceed: as

a. : a device for drains or sewers consisting of a bend or partitioned chamber in which the liquid forms a seal to prevent the passage of sewer gas

b. : steam trap

c. : a device to separate sand and silt from flowing water

d. : a place in a water pipe or pump where something (as an air pocket) is held or retained

e. : a device to catch mercury or amalgam escaping from amalgamation plates

f. : a usually sharply tuned circuit consisting of either conventional coils and condensers or transmission lines to eliminate an unwanted signal

g. : a site of imperfection in the crystal structure of a solid at which otherwise mobile electrons and holes can be confined or trapped often more or less temporarily

8. : smash 2b


a. : a percussion instrument — usually used in plural

likes to play the traps

has a set of traps

b. traps plural : the group of percussion instruments especially in a dance or theater orchestra

10. : the degree to which printing ink will trap

the sample definitely indicates poor trap … due to improper tackiness of the inks, one printing over the other — Graphic Arts Monthly

II. verb

( trapped or archaic trapt ; trapped or archaic trapt ; trapping ; traps )

Etymology: Middle English trappen, from trap, trappe trap

transitive verb


a. : to catch or take in or as if in a trap or snare by skill, craft, or trickery : entrap , ensnare

traps muskrats in the fall of the year

trap wasps in a jar containing beer and treacle — F.D.Smith & Barbara Wilcox

trapped him … by forcing him to follow her into her home — Harrison Smith

avoids the danger of being trapped upon cross-examination — Paul Wilson

b. : to place (as a person) in a restricted or difficult position : confine , entangle

the crash tools … useful in freeing persons trapped or imprisoned in a wrecked airplane — H.G.Armstrong

those with food … share with the utterly trapped — Wallace Stegner

trapped in a series of events over which he has no control — William Murray

a story of people trapped in a criminal situation through their weakness rather than sin — David Dempsey

— sometimes used with into

his reliance on feeling … frequently trapped him into absurdities and muddleheadedness — F.B.Millett

c. : to induce (an opponent) usually by passing to bid or bet unwisely in a card game

2. : to provide or set (a place) with traps: as

a. : to set (a place or area) with traps to catch an animal or a person

had a permit from the mortgage company to trap its lands — H.L.Davis

has the place trapped with all sorts of burglar alarms — Erle Stanley Gardner

b. : to install a trap in (as a drain)

the law usually requires that drains be trapped

c. : to construct traps on (as a golf course)

the greens are heavily trapped — New Yorker

3. : to separate out : stop , hold

these mountains trap rains and fogs generated over the ocean — American Guide Series: California

a scheme which traps sunlight and turns it into motive power — English Digest


a. : to stop or catch (as a soccer ball or baseball) immediately after a bounce

b. : to catch (as a base runner) off base

traps many runners with his quick pick-off throw

c. : mousetrap

one of the big problems we had on offense was trapping the guards — Bob Hicks

5. : to accept (superimposed ink often of another color) during a subsequent printing

6. : trapnest

intransitive verb

1. : to set traps for game ; also : to make a business of trapping animals

began to trap for a living — R.L.Neuberger

2. : to become trapped (as steam in a radiator)

3. : to employ tactics in a card game designed to trap another player

Synonyms: see catch

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English trappe, modification (probably influenced by Old Spanish trapo cloth, modification of Late Latin drappus ) of Middle French drap cloth — more at drab

1. obsolete : an ornamented cloth covering especially for a horse : trapping — usually used in plural

2. traps plural : personal belongings : goods , luggage

put our little household traps into a freight car and went back — W.A.White

IV. transitive verb

( trapped ; trapped ; trapping ; traps )

Etymology: Middle English trappen, from trappe cloth, trap

: to clothe or provide with or as if with traps or trappings : caparison

horse trapped for battle — P.H.Davis

wrapped and trapped in their accouterments — Bruce Marshall

feathers in which she has trapped out that idea — Irish Digest

V. noun

also traprock ˈ ̷ ̷| ̷ ̷

( -s )

Etymology: trap from Swedish trapp, from trappa stair, from Middle Low German trappe; akin to Middle Dutch trappe step, stair; traprock from trap (V) + rock; from its occurring in sheetlike masses that rise above one another like steps — more at trap (snare)

1. : any of various dark-colored fine-grained igneous rocks (as basalt or amygdaloid) used especially in road making

2. : an arrangement of rock strata involving their structural relations or varied lithology and texture that favors the accumulation of oil and gas

VI. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Dutch, from Middle Dutch trappe

Scotland : a movable flight of steps : stepladder

VII. noun

: a defensive maneuver in basketball in which two defenders converge quickly to block or guard the ball handler in order to steal the ball or force a passing error

• trap verb

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.