Definition of mousetrap in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmaʊstrap/


1A trap for catching and usually killing mice, especially one with a spring bar which snaps down on to 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.’
1.1 (also mousetrap cheese) [mass noun] British informal Cheese of poor quality.
Example sentences
  • You would never compare mousetrap cheddar with Camembert, so why assume that all goat's cheese will taste the same - overpoweringly rank and, well, goaty?


[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 article: the people with the better mousetrap will do well
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
More 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.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mouse|trap

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