Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

trap - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable] trap pronunciation in British English /træp/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    a piece of equipment used for catching animals
    set/lay a trap (=make it ready to be used):

    We set traps in the attic for the mice.

  2. 2
    a bad or unpleasant situation that is difficult to change or escape from
    caught in a trap (of something):

    He was caught in a trap of poverty.

  3. 3
    a trick that is designed to catch someone or to make them do or say something that they did not want to do or say

    The platoon was lured into a trap by guerrilla soldiers.

    We didn’t know that we were walking straight into a trap.

  4. 4
    a mistake or problem that you should try to avoid
    fall into the trap of (doing) something:

    I fell into the trap of putting work before family.



a title used before a man or woman's name as a gender-neutral alternative to Mr, Ms, etc

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


another way of saying congratulations, or that something/someone looks nice or fascinating

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play