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ensnare (someone or something) in (something)

1. Literally, to catch someone or something, as a trap. If we can't ensnare an animal in this trap, we're not going to eat tonight.
2. To trap or involve oneself or someone in something troubling, such as an issue, problem, or scandal. A noun or pronoun can be used between "ensnare" and "in." The other candidates ensnared the politicians in petty debates, and he was never able to make his point. Our father's lack of a will has ensnared my brothers and me in many lawsuits over his estate.
See also: ensnare
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

ensnare someone or something in something

1. . Lit. to capture someone or something in something. Dave ensnared the rabbit in his trap. Henry ensnared himself in the trap they had laid for deer.
2. Fig. to catch or "trap" someone in an act or pattern of deception. She sought to ensnare him in his own framework of lies. He ensnared himself in his many lies.
See also: ensnare
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"Far from liberating a person, it ensnares them in a lifestyle that can never respond to the deepest longings of the human heart."
"He argues that homosexuality 'ensnares them in a lifestyle that can never respond to the deepest longings of the human heart'.
Tracing the slow, inevitable descent of a hapless and largely innocent WWI veteran-turned-hobo, the film casts Paul Muni as a man whose single misstep ensnares him in a sadistic "corrections" system with an insatiable appetite for its pound of flesh.
The new mine, scheduled to be produced in 2001, will deploy a net that ensnares its victim and may discharge a cloud of pepper spray or tear gas.
All kinds of garbage, ranging from fishing nets to trash from cargo ships to litter on the beach, finds its way into coastal waters and the ocean, where it traps, ensnares and entangles marine wildlife such as marine mammals, sea turtles and seabirds.
The other is Newt's now-famous "pouting sex kitten," Erica, an exotic German spy, who ensnares the President's chief of staff by nuzzling his neck and biting his shoulder as "her fingers entwined the fur of his chest." She also comes up with some supposedly titillating dialogue: "To think that when we started I was little more than a throwaway container for your Just." Or, "Such games we have.
It diminishes respect for law, loses real criminals through the cracks, and even ensnares many an innocent--all because it costs so much to adjudicate the obvious when there are no penalties for advancing idiotic theories or wild-eyed objections.
Ultimately, censorship ensnares those whom it supposedly protects in the self-defeating web of victimization, while bestowing hero status on social scofflaws.