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1. A contrivance for catching and holding animals, as a concealed pit or a clamplike device that springs shut suddenly.
2. A stratagem for catching or tricking an unwary person.
3. A confining or undesirable circumstance from which escape or relief is difficult: fell into poverty's trap.
4. A device for sealing a passage against the escape of gases, especially a U-shaped or S-shaped bend in a drainpipe that prevents the return flow of sewer gas by means of a water barrier.
a. A device that hurls clay pigeons into the air in trapshooting.
b. A land hazard or bunker on a golf course; a sand trap.
c. traps A measured length of roadway over which electronic timers register the speed of a racing vehicle, such as a dragster.
6. Baseball See web.
a. A defensive strategy or play, as in basketball or hockey, in which two or more defenders converge on an offensive player shortly after the player gains possession of the ball or puck.
b. The act of trapping a soccer ball.
8. Football A running play in which the ball carrier advances through a hole in the defensive line created by allowing a defensive lineman to penetrate the backfield.
9. A light two-wheeled carriage with springs.
10. A trapdoor.
11. traps Music Percussion instruments, such as snare drums and cymbals, especially in a jazz band.
12. Slang The human mouth.
v. trapped, trap·ping, traps
1. To catch in a trap; ensnare.
2. To prevent from escaping or getting free: was trapped in the locked attic.
3. To deceive or trick by means of a scheme or plan. See Synonyms at catch.
4. To seal off (gases) by a trap.
5. To furnish with traps or a trap.
a. To catch (a ball) immediately after it has hit the ground.
b. To gain control of (a moving soccer ball) by allowing it to hit and bounce off a part of the body other than the arm or hand.
1. To set traps for game.
2. To engage in trapping furbearing animals.
[Middle English, from Old English træppe.]
trap 2(trăp) Archaic
often traps Personal belongings or household goods.
tr.v. trapped, trap·ping, traps
To furnish with trappings.
[Middle English trap, trapping, perhaps alteration of Old French drap, cloth, from Late Latin drappus.]
Any of several dark, fine-grained igneous rocks often used in making roads.
[Swedish trapp, from trappa, step, from Middle Low German trappe.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
[C19: probably shortened from trappings]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
Trapsarticles of dress; personal effects and belongings, 1813.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.