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trap (someone or something) in (something)

1. Literally, to ensnare or confine someone or an animal with or within something. He trapped the rabbit in a homemade snare. He managed to trap the burglar in the cellar while he waited for the police to arrive. I refuse to kill animals, so I trapped the rodent in a cage and released it in the forest.
2. To prevent someone or something from leaving something or some place. Often used in passive constructions. The accident trapped hundreds of drivers in traffic on the highway. I hate being trapped in the office when the sun is shining outside.
3. To prevent someone or something from escaping from or progressing beyond some situation or set of circumstances. Often used in passive constructions. The two companies have become trapped in a legal deadlock over this issue. A confluence of different forces has trapped tens of thousands of people in this region in a cycle of poverty.
4. To catch someone or something in some duplicitous moment or action. Often used in passive constructions. The prosecutor trapped the defendant in a lie that exposed his involvement in the crime. I felt like the interviewer spent the whole time trying to trap me in inconsistencies in my application.
See also: trap

trap (someone or something) into (something)

1. Literally, to ensnare an animal inside of something. He trapped the raccoon into the cage and brought it out to the woods to release it. The plant traps insects into a pouch filled with a sweet-smelling nectar that eventually digests them.
2. To force, compel, or manipulate a person, group, or entity into entering some inescapable situation or position. Often used in passive constructions. Tens of thousands of people in the region have been trapped into poverty following the collapse of the coal industry. The revolution ended up trapping the entire country into chaos and bloodshed for the last five years.
3. To force, compel, or manipulate a person, group, or entity into doing something against their will. It was discovered that the detectives had used blackmail to trap the suspect into confessing. Pressure from our investors trapped our company into taking on even more debt.
See also: trap
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Location is everything in trapping. Learn the habits of your target animals, and then scout for signs of them.
To address this issue, in this study, we proposed a microfluidic device including two parallel microchannels (main channel and buffer channel) interconnected with cellular trapping sites with a decrease in the cross-sectional area (see Figure 1).
Trapping honeybees gathered pollen and factors affecting yields.
7 when they determined that the limit of 309,000 pounds of gutted fillets was reached for the June 1,2010 to May 31, 2011 season; the FWC likewise shut down the trapping to coincide with the federal closure.
Thus, nine traps were in operation for six nights every month from January to June (two trapping periods coinciding with the full moon and new moon lunar phases) and later for three nights from July to December 2005.
In the present paper we compare the trapping efficiencies of climbing sticks either with bottle-traps or with adhesive.
Trapping was conducted in two habitats: northern hardwoods with a dominant overstory of sugar maple (Acer saccbarum) and American beech (Fagus grandifolia), and a red pine (Pinus resinosa) plantation.
Despite their relative inefficiency and the large effort it takes to install pitfall traps, we found that these types of traps can be useful in augmenting trapping efforts, as they often capture species that do not, or rarely, fall into other types of traps.
Fluids move through these channels in and out of a hair-width trapping region at the intersection.
4.) Both trappers still utilize the same trapping techniques mentioned above:
Key words: magnetic trapping; neutron lifetime; superthermal neutron production; ultracold neutrons.
Several researchers have reported striking annual and/or monthly variation in striped skunk trapping success.
Noticeably, however, trapping was missing from the list of activities that pose a threat to wildlife and contradict the very notion of "refuge."
The most appropriate method to determine the presence and abundance of small animal communities is trapping. However, no single trap is effective at capturing all species, age groups, and sexes without bias (1).
During the 3 years before the last peak of disease (1997-1999), we monitored bank vole populations by trapping and screening antibodies.