08/06/08 167 W - + 12 - 12 Trapped or Entrapped?

Is someone trapped in a car, or entrapped in a car? Merriam-Webster defines the transitive verb1 "trap" as "as 1 a: to catch or take in or as if in a trap : entrap b: to place in a restricted position : confine <trapped in the burning wreck>." They define the transitive verb "entrap" as "1 : to catch in or as if in a trap." Okay, sounds like the same word. However, there's no inflected form2 of "entrap." Ergo, "trapped" is a word, but "entrapped" is not a word. But wait, Batman! This site cites "entrapped" in a 1913 edition of Webster's. So, it was a word, but now it isn't a word? There's even a web site named entrapped.com. I wonder if they know? Definitely requires further research... not!

1What the heck is a transitive verb? Don't know, was never good at grammar. That's why we have Google.
2See #1.

thinking that entrapped may be more restrictive, more devious, planned
here entrapped is a word:
from dictionary.com
ľverb (used with object), -trapped, -trapĚping.
1. to catch in or as in a trap; ensnare: The hunters used nets to entrap the lion.
2. to bring unawares into difficulty or danger: He entrapped himself in the web of his own lies.
3. to lure into performing an act or making a statement that is compromising or illegal.
4. to draw into contradiction or damaging admission: The questioner entrapped her into an admission of guilt.
5. Law. to catch by entrapment.

ŚRelated forms
enĚtrapĚper, noun
enĚtrapĚpingĚly, adverb

ŚSynonyms 1. capture, snare, trap.
cornerhydrant - 08/06/08 - 16:39

The Cambridge International dictionary defines trapped as “a dangerous or unpleasant situation which you have got into and from which it is difficult or impossible to escape”, and defines entrapped as “to cause someone to do something that they would not usually do, by unfair methods, or tricking”. Therefore, trapped appears to be the better word to use in your ‘auto’ situation.
Blog wife - 08/06/08 - 18:26

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