Booby trap


      • deceive someone
        Set up a hidden or disguised trap or trick to fool or ensnare someone

      • harm or injure someone
        Place an unexpected or dangerous obstacle or device to catch or hurt someone

    Examples of Booby trap

    • John spent hours booby trapping his backyard, hoping to catch the neighborhood raccoons in the act.

      The phrase "booby trap" is used literally here. John has set up traps or obstacles to catch the raccoons.

    • Maria's ex-boyfriend left her an email laced with booby traps, including false information and misleading links.

      Here, "booby trap" is used figuratively. The email contained deceiving elements that could potentially harm or mislead Maria.

    • The treasure hunter found the ancient temple filled with booby traps, slowing him down as he tried to navigate the maze.

      Again, used literally, the traps in the temple were obstacles designed to protect the treasure.

    • Jane thought she could hack her way through the online game, but she soon encountered a series of booby traps, leaving her character helpless and defeated.

      Here, "booby trap" is used figuratively again. The game had unexpected challenges that thwarted Jane's progress.

    • The wooden hut was booby trapped with sharp spikes on the floor, and as soon as I stepped inside, one of them pierced through the sole of my shoe.

      The wooden hut had been set up with dangerous devices, meant to injure or harm unwary entrants. The sharp spikes were concealed on the floor, making it a deadly surprise for anyone who entered the hut unprepared.

    • The woman placed a booby trap on her ex-husband's path, hoping to teach him a lesson.

      The woman devised a trap to hurt or harm her former spouse. She took a deliberate action to injure him in a devious or sneaky manner, with the intention of teaching him a crucial lesson.

    • The police officers discovered a booby trap in the bank that was about to explode, and they managed to safely defuse the bomb.

      The police found a lethal device set up in the bank, which would have resulted in a destructive explosion. The officers successfully dealt with the situation by disarming the bomb, averting the danger.

    • The young girl found a booby trap in the attic, which her grandfather had left behind after he passed away.

      The young child encountered a dangerous device in the attic, left behind by her departed grandfather. The trap was intended to harm or injure anyone who didn't expect it, causing pain or agony. In this case, the booby trap served as an unexpected surprise for the child.


    The idiom "booby trap" is used to describe a situation or action that is meant to deceive or harm someone. It can refer to a literal trap set up by someone with malicious intent, or it can be used figuratively to describe a cunning or deceitful act. In both cases, the intention is to catch someone off guard and cause them harm or disadvantage.

    Origin of "Booby trap"

    The origin of the idiom "booby trap" is unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the 19th century. The word "booby" comes from the Spanish word "bobo," which means foolish or stupid. This may have been used to describe a trap that catches someone who is not paying attention or is easily fooled.

    The earliest recorded use of the term "booby trap" was in 1850 in a book called "The Narrative of a Journey in the Interior of China" by Clarke Abel. It was used to refer to a pitfall trap set by the Chinese to capture wild animals. However, the term gained widespread use during World War II, where it was used to describe various forms of traps and explosive devices set up by soldiers to harm or deceive their enemies.

    Today, the idiom "booby trap" is used in various contexts, from military tactics to practical jokes. It can also be used in a figurative sense to warn someone against falling into a trap or to describe a situation that is dangerous or deceitful.