air-trap Unabridged


1 [trap]
a contrivance used for catching game or other animals, as a mechanical device that springs shut suddenly.
any device, stratagem, trick, or the like for catching a person unawares.
any of various devices for removing undesirable substances from a moving fluid, vapor, etc., as water from steam or cinders from coal gas.
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.
traps, the percussion instruments of a jazz or dance band.
Trapshooting, Skeet. a device for hurling clay pigeons into the air.
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.
the game of trapball.
Sports. an act or instance of trapping a ball.
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.
Slang. mouth: Keep your trap shut.
Chiefly British. a carriage, especially a light, two-wheeled one.
verb (used with object), trapped, trapping.
to catch in a trap; ensnare: to trap foxes.
to catch by stratagem, artifice, or trickery.
to furnish or set with traps.
to provide (a drain or the like) with a trap.
to stop and hold by a trap, as air in a pipe.
Sports. to catch (a ball) as it rises after having just hit the ground.
Football. to execute a trap against (a defensive player).
verb (used without object), trapped, trapping.
to set traps for game: He was busy trapping.
to engage in the business of trapping animals for their furs.
Trapshooting, Skeet. to work the trap.

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

traplike, adjective

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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
trap1 (træp)
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.  slang (plural) jazz percussion instruments
13.  obsolete, slang (Austral) (usually plural) a policeman
vb , traps, trapping, trapped
14.  (tr) to catch, take, or pen in or as if in a trap; entrap
15.  (tr) to ensnare by trickery; trick
16.  (tr) to provide (a pipe) with a trap
17.  to set traps in (a place), esp for animals
[Old English træppe; related to Middle Low German trappe, Medieval Latin trappa]

trap2 (træp)
1.  an obsolete word for trappings
vb (often foll by out) , traps, trapping, trapped
2.  to dress or adorn
[C11: probably from Old French drap cloth]

trap or traprock3 (træp)
1.  any fine-grained often columnar dark igneous rock, esp basalt
2.  any rock in which oil or gas has accumulated
[C18: from Swedish trappa stair (from its steplike formation); see trap1]
traprock or traprock3
[C18: from Swedish trappa stair (from its steplike formation); see trap1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late O.E. træppe "snare, trap," from P.Gmc. *trap- (cf. M.Du. trappe "trap, snare"), related to Gmc. words for "stair, step, tread" (cf. M.Du., M.L.G. trappe, treppe, Ger. Treppe "step, stair"). Probably connected to O.Fr. trape, Sp. 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 1680s. Sense in speed trap recorded from 1906. Slang meaning "mouth" is from 1776. The verb is attested from late 14c. (O.E. had betræppan); trap door is first attested late 14c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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