mousetrap
mousetrap mouse"trap`, mouse trap mouse" trap`, n. Any device that catches, and usually kills, mice. They are of various designs, the most common being a stiff loop of wire mounted on a small wooden platform base and attached to a strong spring, which holds the loop firmly against the base. To activate the trap, the loop is pulled through a 180[deg] arc against the tension of the spring and held against the base by a delicate metal catch, which can keep the loop from moving, though in a state of high tension. The metal catch is moved when a mouse tries to take a piece of bait attached to it, releasing the loop which forcefully moves though an arc, usually killing the mouse. A larger version of the same device is used as a {rat trap}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mousetrap — Mousetrap, The a play by Agatha Christie, which was first performed in the ↑West End of London in 1952, and has been performed there continuously for longer than any other play in the world. It is a ↑whodunit (=a play about a murder in which you… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • mousetrap — late 15c., from MOUSE (Cf. mouse) + TRAP (Cf. trap) (n.). Figurative use from 1570s. The thing is older than the word. Old English had musfealle; Middle English had mouscacche (late 14c.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • mousetrap — ☆ mousetrap [mous′trap΄] n. a trap for catching mice vt. mousetrapped, mousetrapping to trick or ensnare by means of a feint or stratagem …   English World dictionary

  • Mousetrap — For other uses, see Mousetrap (disambiguation). A mouse killed in a mousetrap. A mousetrap is a specialized type of animal trap designed primarily to catch mice; however, it may also trap other small animals. Mousetraps are usually set in an… …   Wikipedia

  • mousetrap — /mows trap /, n., v., mousetrapped, mousetrapping. n. 1. a trap for mice, esp. one consisting of a rectangular wooden base on which a metal spring is mounted. 2. a device, machine, or the like whose structure or function suggests a trap for mice …   Universalium

  • mousetrap — UK [ˈmaʊsˌtræp] / US noun [countable] Word forms mousetrap : singular mousetrap plural mousetraps a small object with a spring, used for catching and killing mice …   English dictionary

  • mousetrap — I. noun Date: 15th century 1. a trap for mice 2. a stratagem that lures one to defeat or destruction 3. trap 2b II. transitive verb Date: circa 1864 to snare in or as if in a mousetrap …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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  • mousetrap — Addictive site, one that keeps your attention for a long time or keeps you coming back for more. Pseudodictionary.com is one wicked mousetrap …   Dictionary of american slang

  • mousetrap — Addictive site, one that keeps your attention for a long time or keeps you coming back for more. Pseudodictionary.com is one wicked mousetrap …   Dictionary of american slang

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