set a trap (for someone or something)

set a trap (for someone or something)

1. Literally, to construct and set up a device or contraption for catching physically capturing someone or some animal. I began setting traps for rabbits and other animals when my food started running dangerously low. A: "I could have sworn I heard mice crawling around in the basement." B: "We'll have to start setting some traps down there."
2. Literally, to put in place or in motion a stratagem to trick someone and catch them unawares, especially to expose something about them or something they have done. The undercover agent set a trap for the senator, inviting her to accept a bribe in exchange for her efforts to deregulate the industry.
See also: set, someone, trap

set a trap

to adjust and prepare a trap to catch an animal. Bill set a mousetrap and baited it with cheese. The old man set a trap to catch an annoying squirrel.
See also: set, trap