From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


1. A contrivance, often consisting of a noose of cord, or the like, by which a bird or other animal may be entangled and caught; a trap; a gin.

2. Hence, anything by which one is entangled and brought into trouble. If thou retire, the Dauphin, well appointed, stands with the snares of war to tangle thee. (Shak)

3. The gut or string stretched across the lower head of a drum.

4. (Science: medicine) An instrument, consisting usually of a wireloop or noose, for removing tumours, etc, by avulsion. Snare drum, the smaller common military drum, as distinguished from the bass drum; so called because (in order to render it more resonant) it has stretched across its lower head a catgut string or strings.

Origin: AS. Sneara cord, a string; akin to D. Snoer, G. Schnur, OHG. Snour a cord, snarahha a noose, Dan. Snare, Sw. & Icel. Snara, Goth. Snrj a basket; and probably also to E. Needle. See Needle, and cf. Snarl to entangle.