Meaning of “trap” in the English Dictionary

"trap" in British English

See all translations


uk /træp/ us /træp/


B2 [ C ] a device or hole for catching animals or people and preventing their escape:

The fox got its foot caught in a trap.

B2 [ S ] a dangerous or unpleasant situation which you have got into and from which it is difficult or impossible to escape:

The undercover agents went to the rendezvous knowing that it might be a trap.
She's too smart to fall into the trap of working without pay.

More examples

  • Don't fall into the trap of thinking you can learn a foreign language without doing any work.
  • His foot was caught in the jaws of the trap.
  • We set a trap and they walked right into it.
  • They put rabbit traps all over the wood.
  • We set traps to try to control the mice.

trapverb [ T ]

uk /træp/ us /træp/ -pp-

to catch an animal in a trap:

She survived in the wilderness by eating berries and trapping small animals and birds.

to keep something such as heat or water in one place, especially because it is useful:

A greenhouse stays warm because the glass traps the heat of the sun.
be trapped

B2 If someone or something is trapped, that person or thing is unable to move or escape from a place or situation:

The two men died when they were trapped in a burning building.
Fire officers used cutting equipment to free his legs, which were trapped under a steel beam.
figurative Jack left the job after ten years because he was beginning to feel trapped.
be trapped into (doing) sth

to be forced or tricked into doing something that you do not want to do:

In his book, Holden speculates that Shakespeare was an unfaithful husband who was trapped into marriage.
She had been trapped into saying something she did not mean.

to bring a football that is moving or falling through the air under control using your feet:

In training, we get players to practise trapping the ball from awkward angles.

More examples

  • She went to the aid of a man trapped in his car.
  • Firefighters helped to dig out the people trapped in the snowdrift.
  • Rescuers are doing everything that is humanly possible to free the trapped people.
  • Jane is trapped in a joyless marriage.
  • We could hear the moans of someone trapped under the rubble.

(Definition of “trap” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"trap" in American English

See all translations

trapnoun [ C ]

us /træp/

trap noun [ C ] (DEVICE FOR CATCHING)

a device or hole for catching and holding things:

A bear was caught in the trap.

A trap is also a bad situation from which it is difficult or impossible to escape:

Simply by answering the letter, Robin had fallen into a trap.

trap noun [ C ] (MOUTH)

slang a mouth:

Oh, shut your trap!
verb [ T ] us /træp/ -pp-

Morrison was trapped by the fire.

(Definition of “trap” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)