Definition of booby trap in English:

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booby trap

Pronunciation: /ˈbo͞obē ˌtrap/


1A thing designed to catch the unwary, in particular.
Example sentences
  • He had a suspicion that Roon's booby trap would only work once.
  • Her favorite booby trap would probably be impossible unless the hunters were fond of the early 1800's.
  • Unbeknownst to her, another booby trap is set off, and a soldier following the one with Trini falls into it.
1.1An apparently harmless object containing a concealed explosive device designed to kill or injure anyone who touches it: miles of mines, booby traps, and underground fortifications
More example sentences
  • Officers seized a number of pipe bombs, a booby trap device, a handgun and ammunition and a quantity of bomb-making equipment.
  • Yesterday's discovery of 10 guns, two pipe bombs, a booby trap device and hundreds of rounds of ammunition had almost certainly saved more lives.
  • Instead, the Marines were leaving a promotion ceremony when one of them apparently triggered a booby trap, causing the explosion.
1.2A trap intended as a practical joke, such as an object placed on top of a door ajar ready to fall on the next person to pass through.
Example sentences
  • Occasionally they would sneak down in the middle of the night to play some prank on the Vandals, like steal their flag or set up a booby trap outside the door.


(booby-trap) [with object]
Place a booby trap in or on (an object or area): (as adjective booby-trapped) the area was heavily mined and booby-trapped
More example sentences
  • When US guards went to inspect the damage outside the embassy the following morning, they discovered the area was booby-trapped with several more bombs.
  • My room is practically booby-trapped with clothes, but having a bird around might be alright.
  • Private citizens can't mine their backyards or booby-trap their front doors.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: boo·by trap

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