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trap1

[trap] /træp/
noun
1.
a contrivance used for catching game or other animals, as a mechanical device that springs shut suddenly.
2.
any device, stratagem, trick, or the like for catching a person unawares.
3.
any of various devices for removing undesirable substances from a moving fluid, vapor, etc., as water from steam or cinders from coal gas.
4.
Also called air trap. an arrangement in a pipe, as a double curve or a U -shaped section, in which liquid remains and forms a seal for preventing the passage or escape of air or of gases through the pipe from behind or below.
5.
traps, the percussion instruments of a jazz or dance band.
6.
Trapshooting, Skeet. a device for hurling clay pigeons into the air.
7.
the piece of wood, shaped somewhat like a shoe hollowed at the heel, and moving on a pivot, used in playing the game of trapball.
8.
the game of trapball.
9.
10.
Sports. an act or instance of trapping a ball.
11.
Also called mousetrap, trap play. Football. a play in which a defensive player, usually a guard or tackle, is allowed by the team on offense to cross the line of scrimmage into the backfield and is then blocked out from the side, thereby letting the ball-carrier run through the opening in the line.
12.
Slang. mouth:
Keep your trap shut.
13.
Chiefly British. a carriage, especially a light, two-wheeled one.
verb (used with object), trapped, trapping.
14.
to catch in a trap; ensnare:
to trap foxes.
15.
to catch by stratagem, artifice, or trickery.
16.
to furnish or set with traps.
17.
to provide (a drain or the like) with a trap.
18.
to stop and hold by a trap, as air in a pipe.
19.
Sports. to catch (a ball) as it rises after having just hit the ground.
20.
Football. to execute a trap against (a defensive player).
verb (used without object), trapped, trapping.
21.
to set traps for game:
He was busy trapping.
22.
to engage in the business of trapping animals for their furs.
23.
Trapshooting, Skeet. to work the trap.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English trappe (noun), trappen (v.), Old English træppe (noun), cognate with Middle Dutch trappe (Dutch trap) trap, step, staircase; akin to Old English treppan to tread, German Treppe staircase
Related forms
traplike, adjective
Synonyms
1, 2. T rap , pitfall , snare apply to literal or figurative contrivances for deceiving and catching animals or people. Literally, a trap is a mechanical contrivance for catching animals, the main feature usually being a spring: a trap baited with cheese for mice. Figuratively, trap suggests the scheme of one person to take another by surprise and thereby gain an advantage: a trap for the unwary. A pitfall is (usually) a concealed pit arranged for the capture of large animals or of people who may fall into it; figuratively, it is any concealed danger, error, or source of disaster: to avoid the pitfalls of life. A snare is a device for entangling birds, rabbits, etc., with intent to capture; figuratively, it implies enticement and inveiglement: the temptress' snare.

trap2

[trap] /træp/
noun
1.
traps, Informal. personal belongings; baggage.
verb (used with object), trapped, trapping.
2.
to furnish with or as with trappings; caparison.
Origin
1300-50; Middle English trappe (noun), trappen (v.) < ?

trap3

[trap] /træp/
noun, Geology
1.
any of various fine-grained, dark-colored igneous rocks having a more or less columnar structure, especially some form of basalt.
Also called traprock.
Origin
1785-95; < Swedish trapp, variant of trappa stair (so named from the stepped appearance of their outcrops) < Middle Low German trappe. See trap1

trap4

[trap] /træp/
noun, Scot.
1.
a ladder or ladderlike device used to reach a loft, attic, etc.
Origin
1750-60; < Dutch: stepladder; see trap1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for trap
  • Her students have no idea that she is a prisoner of the graduate-school poverty trap.
  • But the appearance of a pastoral idyll conceals a poverty trap.
  • Perhaps the shriek of a dying animal enticed the dinosaur into the trap.
  • Lasers can be used to trap and manipulate electrically neutral particles.
  • The chances that we'll trap and collar a lynx today are slim.
  • Some researchers have focused on designing precisely engineered materials that can trap light to harness its quantum properties.
  • The point is, that this is as much a trap as tenure.
  • For me, studio is a trap to overproduce and repeat yourself.
  • And now researchers have used one to trap a single molecule of water.
  • Filters trap small debris and help keep the water clean.
British Dictionary definitions for trap

trap1

/træp/
noun
1.
a mechanical device or enclosed place or pit in which something, esp an animal, is caught or penned
2.
any device or plan for tricking a person or thing into being caught unawares
3.
anything resembling a trap or prison
4.
a fitting for a pipe in the form of a U-shaped or S-shaped bend that contains standing water to prevent the passage of gases
5.
any similar device
6.
a device that hurls clay pigeons into the air to be fired at by trapshooters
7.
any one of a line of boxlike stalls in which greyhounds are enclosed before the start of a race
8.
See trap door
9.
a light two-wheeled carriage
10.
a slang word for mouth
11.
(golf) an obstacle or hazard, esp a bunker
12.
(pl) (jazz, slang) percussion instruments
13.
(usually pl) (Austral, obsolete, slang) a policeman
verb traps, trapping, trapped
14.
(transitive) to catch, take, or pen in or as if in a trap; entrap
15.
(transitive) to ensnare by trickery; trick
16.
(transitive) to provide (a pipe) with a trap
17.
to set traps in (a place), esp for animals
Derived Forms
traplike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English træppe; related to Middle Low German trappe, Medieval Latin trappa

trap2

/træp/
noun
1.
an obsolete word for trappings (sense 2)
verb traps, trapping, trapped
2.
(transitive) often foll by out. to dress or adorn
See also traps
Word Origin
C11: probably from Old French drap cloth

trap3

/træp/
noun
1.
any fine-grained often columnar dark igneous rock, esp basalt
2.
any rock in which oil or gas has accumulated
Word Origin
C18: from Swedish trappa stair (from its steplike formation); see trap1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for trap
n.

"contrivance for catching unawares," late Old English træppe "snare, trap," from Proto-Germanic *trap- (cf. Middle Dutch trappe "trap, snare"), related to Germanic words for "stair, step, tread" (cf. Middle Dutch, Middle Low German trappe, treppe, German Treppe "step, stair"). Probably akin to Old French trape, Spanish trampa "trap, pit, snare," but the exact relationship is uncertain. The connecting notion seems to be "that on which an animal steps." Sense of "deceitful practice, trickery" is first recorded c.1400. Sense in speed trap recorded from 1906. Slang meaning "mouth" is from 1776. Trap door "door in a floor or ceiling" (often hidden and leading to a passageway or secret place) is first attested late 14c.

v.

c.1400, "ensnare (an animal), catch in a trap; encircle; capture," from trap (n.) or from Old English betræppan. Figurative use is slightly earlier (late 14c.). Related: Trapped; trapping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for trap

trap

modifier

: to figure out why my trap money was shitty (1970s+ Black)

noun
  1. The mouth; yap: When she opens her trap she has an accent that is British (1776+)
  2. A nightclub: a pretty good East Side trap (1932+)
  3. An amount of money earned by a prostitute, and usually given to her pimp: Ray's woman got in the car. Her trap was fat (1970s+ Black)
Related Terms

bear trap, blow off one's mouth, boob trap, booby trap, clam shells, fleabag, fly trap, shut one's trap, tourist trap


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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trap in Technology


1. A program interrupt, usually an interrupt caused by some exceptional situation in the user program. In most cases, the OS performs some action, then returns control to the program.
2. To cause a trap. "These instructions trap to the monitor." Also used transitively to indicate the cause of the trap. "The monitor traps all input/output instructions."
This term is associated with assembler programming ("interrupt" or "exception" is more common among HLL programmers) and appears to be fading into history among programmers as the role of assembler continues to shrink. However, it is still important to computer architects and systems hackers (see system, sense 1), who use it to distinguish deterministically repeatable exceptions from timing-dependent ones (such as I/O interrupts).
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Idioms and Phrases with trap
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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