Definition of mousetrap in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈmousˌtrap/


A trap for catching and usually killing mice, especially one with a spring bar that snaps down onto the mouse when it touches a piece of cheese or other bait attached to the mechanism.
Example sentences
  • You should bait mousetraps with chocolate, not cheese.
  • One of Lee's jobs is to keep the office mousetraps constantly replenished with cheese: he has stacks of individual cubes in the fridge.
  • Then Bo called him saying, ‘Just watch out when you open the cupboard doors, because I've set some mousetraps.’

verb (mousetraps, mousetrapping, mousetrapped)

[with object] North American informal
1Induce (someone) to do something by means of a trick: the editor mousetrapped her into giving him an article
More example sentences
  • ‘I'm thinking you know you've mousetrapped me fair and square,’ he told her, ‘but I've a mind to hear a bit more about you before we're off to the South Weald.’
1.1Block (a user’s) efforts to exit from a website, usually one to which they have been redirected.
Example sentences
  • In many cases, the consumer is sent to the other sites involuntarily, which is known in the industry as ‘mousetrapping.’


a better mousetrap

An improved version of a well-known item.
From ‘If a man ... make a better mouse-trap than his neighbour ... the world will make a beaten path to his door,’ attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson
Example sentences
  • Whether or not one has built a better mousetrap means little if the new improved model cannot be tested.
  • During the wild times of the late 90s, they were hailed as a modern manifestation of the American Dream: Build a better mousetrap and the world will make you a market millionaire as soon as your company goes public.
  • If someone feels that he can build a better mousetrap than his employer wants to make, he can find a way to make it, market it, and perhaps put his former boss out of business.
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.