from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A building that can catch fire easily or is difficult to escape from in the event of fire.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun informal A building with limited emergency exits in which people would be trapped in the event of a fire.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a building that would be hard to escape from if it were to catch fire


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The move comes after a recent walk-through by federal building inspectors, who told administration officials that the cramped press quarters were a "firetrap" and generally unsafe.

    The Oval: The Shifting Sands of Politics

  • So, at 6 a.m. I begin tearing down all my stuff which takes about an hour now thanks to the firetrap which is my lighting system.

    unclebob Diary Entry

  • We carried no insurance, and so many would say we had a "firetrap" there.

    The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation

  • We carried no insurance, and so many would say we had a "firetrap" there.

    The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation

  • One prognosticator, Ann Mack, a journalist turned director of trend-spotting for JWT, a global marketing communicator, says her New York City apartment is a "firetrap" with all the periodicals she stuffs in every available inch of real estate. - News

  • Just like the gossip that spread from locker to locker, a farm of cubicles is the perfect "firetrap" for rumors.

    Management-Issues : News

  • He had warned the Giants, warned the National League, and warned the city that the Polo Grounds were a firetrap, a tragedy waiting to happen.

    Gotham Baseball Rose From the Ashes

  • Everyone in my town would tell you that I grew up in a rat-hole firetrap and that my chosen profession was all about bringing color and clarity and order into a life of chaos.


  • Taxing property owners for a fire department, for example, hurts the offbeat guy who would rather live in a fireproof cave and benefits the guy whose house is a firetrap since he fills it with old newspapers.

    Social Security Reform, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Apparently that was the plan back in the 1950s, when the Beavers were planning their relocation out of their old stadium on NW Vaughn Street -- an all-wood, turn-of-the-century firetrap, according to our buddy.

    Move the Beavers to Lents? How 1950's. (Jack Bog's Blog)


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