mousetrap

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n mousetrap (American football) a play in which a defensive player is allowed to cross the line of scrimmage and then blocked off as the runner goes through the place the lineman vacated
    • n mousetrap a trap for catching mice
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n mousetrap 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° 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.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n mousetrap A trap for catching mice.
    • n mousetrap A certain mathematical problem. It is as follows: Let a given number of objects be arranged in a circle and counted round and round, and let every one against which any multiple of a given number is pronounced be thrown out when this happens; then, which one will be left to the last?
    • mousetrap To catch, as a mouse, in a trap; entrap.
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Quotations

  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “A mousetrap always provides free cheese.”
  • Ronald Reagan
    Ronald%20Reagan
    “Today, if you invent a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse.”
  • George Gobel
    George Gobel
    “If you build a better mousetrap, you will catch better mice.”
  • James Carswell
    James Carswell
    “Whenever man comes up with a better mousetrap, nature immediately comes up with a better mouse.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Before you build a better mousetrap, it helps to know if there are any mice out there.”
  • Edgar Shoaff
    Edgar Shoaff
    “The two leading recipes for success are building a better mousetrap and finding a bigger loophole.”

Usage

In literature:

Let's leave the bacon in the mousetrap and decamp!
"Les Misérables Complete in Five Volumes" by Victor Hugo
Trina burst in upon her mother while the latter was setting a mousetrap in the kitchen.
"McTeague" by Frank Norris
And that is a mousetrap.
"The Three Musketeers" by Alexandre Dumas, Pere
To the left is the "mousetrap," to the right the prison gates.
"Scenes from a Courtesan's Life" by Honore de Balzac
I overheard him telling Toni a rather amusing story about a nun and a mousetrap, which won't bear repetition.
"The Chronicles of Clovis" by Saki
Fallen into a mousetrap, like a mouse!
"Plays by Chekhov, Second Series On the High Road, The Proposal, The Wedding, The Bear, A Tragedian In Spite of Himself, The Anniversary, The Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard" by Anton Chekhov
Book of the Mousetrap, 154.
"Notes & Queries, Index of Volume 1" by Various
Violet also probably understood that she had not now been caught in a mousetrap.
"Phineas Finn" by Anthony Trollope
It is one thing to say that the mousetrap is not there by accident.
"George Bernard Shaw" by Gilbert K. Chesterton
If anybody wished to see Miss Kitty Cat turn up her nose he had only to mention mousetraps.
"The Tale of Miss Kitty Cat" by Arthur Scott Bailey
Nay, suspect no more mousetraps.
"Clair de Lune" by Michael Strange
The queen vowed he should be guillotined; but while the guillotine was getting ready, he was secured once more in a mousetrap.
"Children's Literature" by Charles Madison Curry
An effectual mousetrap may be made in the following manner.
"The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches," by Mary Eaton
He didn't know what had happened, except for one clear thing: they had been mousetrapped.
"The Blue Ghost Mystery" by Harold Leland Goodwin
Mousetraps had to be invented some time or other.
"The Serapion Brethren," by Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann
And the convent is all ready rigged up for you, like a mousetrap, only you'll go into it without having sinned, do you see?
"Seven Legends" by Gottfried Keller
To which is added, the pleasant story of Obadiah Mousetrap.
"A Catalogue of Books in English Later than 1700 (Vol 1 of 3)" by Various
One bird was shot when flushed; the other was caught in a Museum Special mousetrap.
"Summer Birds From the Yucatan Peninsula" by Erwin E. Klaas
Bracing up Ralph Waldo Emerson's reputation by attributing to him literary mousetraps which he should have made, but didn't.
"The Roycroft Dictionary" by Elbert Hubbard
They are just kept as a kind o' live mousetraps.
"Shireen and her Friends" by Gordon Stables
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In news:

' Epic Mickey 2' builds a worse mousetrap.
'Epic Mickey 2' builds a worse mousetrap.
Epic Mickey 2' builds a worse mousetrap.
Epic Mickey 2' builds a worse mousetrap .
' Mousetrap ' catches Woodland Christian players.
Auditions Tuesday, Wednesday for murder-mystery ' Mousetrap '.
WALLA — The Little Theatre of Walla Walla will hold auditions for Agatha Cristie's murder mystery " Mousetrap ," at 7 pm Tuesday and Wednesday.
Get geared up for Halloween with Sierra College Drama Department's "The Mousetrap ," a murder mystery set in 1952.
CourtesyThe ending to Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap " is one of the best-kept secrets in theater history.
The curtain rises Friday, Oct 26, as the Sierra College Drama Department presents Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap " at Dietrich Theatre.
'The Mousetrap ' just gets better with age.
The Mousetrap is the longest running play in the world.
Inventing a Better Mousetrap : Patent Models From the Rothschild Collection.
Don't just "build a better mousetrap ".
Kansas City Actors Theatre's 'The Mousetrap ' A Killer Show.
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In science:

Maybe the only problem is that Morse code was voted out of existence a couple of years ago? Widgets that everyone needs included an Ancient Egyptian mousetrap (Effland 2006) for which, we suppose, the world will beat a path to your pyramid.
Astrophysics in 2006
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