snare drum

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snare / sne(ə)r/ • n. 1. a trap for catching birds or animals, typically one having a noose of wire or cord. ∎ fig. a thing likely to lure or tempt someone into harm or error: the wickedness and snares of the Devil. ∎  Surgery a wire loop for severing polyps or other growths. 2. a length of wire, gut, or hide stretched across a drumhead to produce a rattling sound. ∎ short for snare drum. • v. [tr.] catch (a bird or mammal) in a snare. ∎ fig. catch or trap (someone): I snared a passing waiter. DERIVATIVES: snar·er n.

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snare trap consisting of a string with a running noose. Late OE. sneara — ON. snara = OS. snari (Du. snaar) string. OHG. snarahha snare. As applied to the strings of gut or hide stretched across the lower head of a side-drum prob. — MDu. or MLG. snare.
Hence snare vb. XIV. So synon. snarl 1 XIV; see -LE1.

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snare drum, small drum having a drumhead at either end. One head is struck with wooden drumsticks, and on the other are stretched several strings, called snares, which cause a rattling against the head. The snare drum was used only in military bands until the 19th cent., when it became an orchestral instrument.

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snare (snair) n. an instrument consisting of a wire loop designed to remove polyps, tumours, and other projections of tissue. See also diathermy.