Trap Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

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If you’re a Star Wars junkie or a die-hard Family Guy fan, you’ve likely come across the memorable phrase, “It’s a trap!” once or twice. Still, what exactly does the word “trap” mean? 

In this post, we’re exploring the vast world of terminology to uncover the definition behind the word trap. So, if you’ve ever been curious as to what Admiral Ackbar or Peter Griffin mean when they mention the term trap (træp or tr æ p)  — keep reading. Here’s our complete guide on trap.  

What Is the Definition of Trap?

Below we have compiled a brief list of the most commonly used definitions for trap:

  • According to the Cambridge Dictionary, trap can is a dangerous or unpleasant situation that you’ve gotten into from which it is difficult or impossible to escape. Trap can also be a slang word that simply means “mouth.”
  • When used as a countable noun, the Collins Dictionary defines trap as a trick that is intended to catch or deceive someone. In terms of music, trap refers to a style of hip-hop or EDM music.  
  • The Macmillan Dictionary says the word trap refers to a mistake or problem that you should try to avoid. Trap can also refer to a type of carriage pulled by a horse. 

As you can see, our word of the day has more than one meaning. Be sure to pick up on context clues when you come across trap to ensure that you understand which version is being used. 

What Is the Word Origin of Trap?

The word trap derives from Middle English trappe (noun) and trappen (verb) as well as Old English træppe (noun), which is akin to German Treppe “staircase” and Old English treppan “to tread.”

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Trap?

Seeing as our word of the day has many definitions, it’s really no surprise that trap has a ton of synonyms and antonyms! 

Just to refresh your memory from grade school, synonyms are words that have the same — or nearly the same — meaning as another word, whereas antonyms are words that have the opposite meaning of another word. 

Synonyms of trap include:

  • Snare
  • Net
  • Booby trap
  • Prison 
  • Cage
  • Conceal trap
  • Deadfall
  • Mousetrap
  • Entrap 
  • Baited trap
  • Pitfall 
  • Ambush 
  • Come-on
  • Surprise attack
  • Inveiglement 
  • Coaxing
  • Stratagem 
  • Carrot
  • Allurement 
  • Surprise
  • Decoy
  • Caparison 
  • Ambuscade
  • Pull
  • Set up
  • Ruse
  • Ploy
  • Artifice
  • Deception
  • Con
  • Fly in the ointment
  • Stumbling block
  • Catch 22
  • Land mine 
  • Game net
  • Trawl net
  • Fishing net
  • Subterfuge
  • Entanglement 
  • Quagmire
  • Morass
  • Quicksand 
  • Sand bunker
  • Sand trap
  • Bunker
  • Joker in the pack 

Antonyms of trap include:

  • Open space
  • Extrication
  • Disentanglement 
  • Freeing
  • Open area
  • Repulsion
  • Deterrent 
  • Fact
  • Truth
  • Release
  • Rescue 
  • Frankness
  • Honesty
  • Forthrightness
  • Facing
  • Directness
  • Meeting
  • Ignorance
  • Original 
  • Freedom
  • Liberation
  • Advancement 
  • Boon
  • Unclasp
  • Unfasten
  • Disenthrall 
  • Elevation
  • Success
  • Let go
  • Progression
  • Achievement
  • Growth
  • Let loose
  • Aid
  • Liability
  • Predictability 
  • Sureness
  • Set free

How Can You Use Trap in a Sentence?

Wondering how to use the word trap in a sentence? Here are a few sentence examples for you to review:

Did you hear that Jason was caught in a speed trap this weekend?

I was able to make so many great memories with my grandparents this summer; my favorite had got to be when my granddad and I went out to trap foxes!

John told me that he was catching animals in the woods with a trap he made last weekend.

Please keep your trap shut — I am tired of hearing your voice.

The house had a secret trapdoor that opened into a small bunker.

Mr. Miller said that the igneous rock probably derived from the mafic traprock.

The golf course is full of twists, turns, and traps so be careful when you hit your golf ball!

Do you have any ideas where I might be able to find a device to hurl clay pigeons into the air for trapshooters next weekend?

Some call it a booby-trap, but I think it’s a death trap!

Would you like to join us for a fun game of trapball tomorrow?

Don’t forget to disconnect the water lines just above the valves and the drain piping at the trap!

If you ask me, it’s really tough these days to get avoid the poverty trap.

I am not particularly fond of trapping animals, but if it’s for their well-being, then I will help you to build a humane trap with a few various devices.

At the sound of the bell, the students shot out of the school gates like greyhounds out of the trap.

What Are Translations of Trap?

Now that you’re up to speed on the meaning behind our word of the day, let’s take a look at some translations, shall we?

There are translations of trap as a noun provided by the Collins Dictionary:

  • Dutch — val, valstrik
  • European Spanish — trampa, caza
  • Finnish — ansa 
  • French — piège 
  • American English — trap  
  • Arabic — مِصْيَدَة 
  • British English — trap
  • Brazilian Portuguese — armadilha 
  • Chinese — 陷阱 
  • Croatian — klopka 
  • Czech — past 
  • Japanese — わな 
  • Korean — 올가미 
  • Norwegian — felle 
  • European Portuguese — armadilha 
  • Romanian — capcană
  • Russian — ловушка 
  • Spanish — trampa 
  • Swedish — fälla, fallgrop
  • Thai — กับดัก 
  • Turkish — tuzak 
  • Ukrainian — пастка
  • Vietnamese — cái bẫy
  • Polish — pułapka
  • Danish — fælde
  • German — Falle 
  • Greek — παγίδα 
  • Italian — trappola

These translations as a verb are also provided by Collins Dictionary:

  • American English — trap  
  • Brazilian Portuguese — pegar numa armadilha 
  • Chinese — 设陷阱捕捉
  • European Spanish — atrapar 
  • British English — trap
  • Italian — prendere in trappola 
  • Japanese — わなで捕らえる
  • Korean — 덫을 놓아 잡다
  • European Portuguese — pegar numa armadilha 
  • Spanish — atrapar 
  • Thai — ดัก
  • French — prendre au piège 
  • German — mit einer Falle fangen


Our word of the day can be defined as a device or hole for catching and holding things — such as a person or an animal. If someone uses trap as a slang word, however, then they are likely referring to a person’s mouth. Trap is also the name of a subgenre of hip hop music that originated in the Southern United States during the early 2000s.

In other words, trap has multiple meanings and can be used in a number of ways!  


Trap definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 

TRAP: definition | Cambridge English Dictionary

TRAP (noun) definition and synonyms | Macmillan Dictionary