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See also: guetapens

Contents

EnglishEdit

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EtymologyEdit

From French guet-apens.

NounEdit

guet-apens (plural guets-apens)

  1. A trap.
    • 1853, Edmund Spencer, A tour of inquiry through France and Italy
      This writer [] severely censures the traducers of his country-men, whose Gallic vanity ascribed the victory to a guet-apens, which cost them upwards of a thousand men []
    • 1924, Percival Christopher Wren, Beau Geste
      If they had not seen us, anything might happen, and the oasis prove a guet-apens, with the burning or burnt-out fort as the bait of the trap.
    • 1942, Stefan Zweig, Stendhal (page 230)
      Julien's honour is now at stake. So, with visions of a guet-apens, of poison, garrotting and dungeons, he accepts the challenge. But, like Stendhal at Miss Appleby's, he goes armed to the teeth, having first put Mathilde's letters in a safe place.

FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

An alteration of Middle French d'agais apensés, corresponding to aguet (ambush) + past participle of apenser (conceive of).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

guet-apens m (plural guets-apens)

  1. ambush
    • 1898, Octave Mirbeau, “Le Guet-apens de Toulouse”, in L'Affaire Dreyfus:
      Même scène dans les couloirs. Mais, à la sortie, le guet-apens criminel devint plus manifeste : vos gendarmes à cheval nous refoulèrent systématiquement vers la foule hostile et, à trois mètres des bandes forcenées qui poussaient des cris de mort et brandissaient leurs matraques dans les allées Lafayette, un coup de revolver, destiné à Pressensé, fut tiré ; la balle passa entre Pressensé et Quillard, qui lui tenait toujours le bras.
  2. (figuratively) trap
    Synonyms: traquenard

Further readingEdit