Definition of trap verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//træp//
    ; NAmE NAmE//træp//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they trap
    BrE BrE//træp//
    ; NAmE NAmE//træp//
    he / she / it traps
    BrE BrE//træps//
    ; NAmE NAmE//træps//
    past simple trapped
    BrE BrE//træpt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//træpt//
    past participle trapped
    BrE BrE//træpt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//træpt//
    -ing form trapping
    BrE BrE//ˈtræpɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtræpɪŋ//
    jump to other results
    in dangerous/bad situation
  1. 1  [often passive] trap somebody (+ adv./prep.) to keep somebody in a dangerous place or bad situation that they want to get out of but cannot Help! I'm trapped! They were trapped in the burning building. We became trapped by the rising floodwater. He was trapped in an unhappy marriage. I feel trapped in my job.
  2. part of body/clothing
  3. 2  trap something (+ adv./prep.) to have part of your body, your clothing, etc. held in a place so tightly that you cannot remove it and it may be injured or damaged I trapped my coat in the car door. The pain was caused by a trapped nerve.
  4. catch
  5. 3trap something to catch or keep something in a place and prevent it from escaping, especially so that you can use it Solar panels trap energy from the sun.
  6. 4  trap somebody/something (+ adv./prep.) to force somebody/something into a place or situation that they cannot escape from, especially in order to catch them The escaped prisoners were eventually trapped in an underground garage and recaptured. Police believe the fingerprints could help trap the killer.
  7. 5trap something to catch an animal in a trap Raccoons used to be trapped for their fur.
  8. trick
  9. 6trap somebody (into something/into doing something) to trick somebody into something He felt he had been trapped into accepting the terms of the contract. The police managed to trap him into revealing his true identity.
  10. Word OriginOld 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.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: trap