betray

verb
be·​tray | \ bi-ˈtrā How to pronounce betray (audio) , bē-\
betrayed; betraying; betrays

Definition of betray

transitive verb

1 : to lead astray especially : seduce a nation betrayed into violence a teenager betrayed by a much older man
2 : to deliver to an enemy by treachery was betrayed to the authorities by one of his students betraying one's own country
3 : to fail or desert especially in time of need betrayed his family felt that she would be betraying her principles You've betrayed our trust.
4a : to reveal unintentionally betray one's true feelings
b : show, indicate His best columns betray … the philosophical bent of his mind.— John Mason Brown
c : to disclose in violation of confidence betray a secret

intransitive verb

: to prove false

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Other Words from betray

betrayer \ bi-​ˈtrā-​ər How to pronounce betrayer (audio) , bē-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for betray

Synonyms

backstab, cross, double-cross, sell (out), two-time

Antonyms

stand by

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Choose the Right Synonym for betray

reveal, disclose, divulge, tell, betray mean to make known what has been or should be concealed. reveal may apply to supernatural or inspired revelation of truths beyond the range of ordinary human vision or reason. divine will as revealed in sacred writings disclose may imply a discovering but more often an imparting of information previously kept secret. candidates must disclose their financial assets divulge implies a disclosure involving some impropriety or breach of confidence. refused to divulge an anonymous source tell implies an imparting of necessary or useful information. told them what he had overheard betray implies a divulging that represents a breach of faith or an involuntary or unconscious disclosure. a blush that betrayed her embarrassment

Examples of betray in a Sentence

They betrayed their country by selling its secrets to other governments. She is very loyal and would never betray a friend. She betrayed her own people by supporting the enemy. She coughed, betraying her presence behind the door.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Instead, at least 35 employees — workers’ advocates say nearly double that number — committed suicide, feeling trapped, betrayed and despairing of ever finding new work in France’s immobile labor market. Adam Nossiter, New York Times, "35 Employees Committed Suicide. Will Their Bosses Go to Jail?," 9 July 2019 Companies and their leadership betray their values and allow discriminatory environments to flourish in favor of rapid growth. Kat Borgerding, Vox, "Recode Daily: Facebook’s secret groups problem," 9 July 2019 Instagram research has found that teens are loathe to block a peer who bullies them, because that both betrays their hurt feelings and keeps them from observing whatever the bully might do next. Katy Steinmetz, Time, "Inside Instagram's War on Bullying," 8 July 2019 In both finals, in Johannesburg on 11 July 2010 and Kiev on 1 July 2012, Del Bosque cut a calm collected presence in the dugout, his natural hang-dog look not betraying any signs of pressure. SI.com, "Vicente del Bosque: The Unluckiest Manager in the World Who Led Spain to Immortality," 5 July 2019 The shapes create lovely, intricate patterns that feel decorative but also slightly irregular, betraying their painstakingly handmade creation. Sharon Mizota, latimes.com, "Art as a portal to Korean ancestors? The mesmerizing work of Hanna Hur," 1 July 2019 Questions from the lovelorn, love-lost or betrayed; the confused parents, Bridezillas, and angry in-laws – all provide insights into the daily struggles presented just by being human and living in the world. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Correcting the record on ammo and guns," 1 July 2019 This left Murphy with a choice: Veto the budget and force a government shutdown, resigning himself to a Christie-like fate, or sign the budget and betray a landmark progressive goal that dominated his gubernatorial campaign. John Hirschauer, National Review, "New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Abandons the ‘Millionaires Tax’," 1 July 2019 Questions from the lovelorn, love-lost or betrayed; the confused parents, Bridezillas, and angry in-laws -- all provide insights into the daily struggles presented just by being human and living in the world. Ask Amy, oregonlive.com, "Ask Amy: Let’s talk about gun violence," 1 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'betray.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of betray

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for betray

Middle English, from be- + trayen to betray, from Anglo-French trahir, from Latin tradere — more at traitor

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Statistics for betray

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for betray

The first known use of betray was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for betray

betray

verb

English Language Learners Definition of betray

: to give information about (a person, group, country, etc.) to an enemy
: to hurt (someone who trusts you, such as a friend or relative) by not giving help or by doing something morally wrong
: to show (something, such as a feeling or desire) without wanting or trying to

betray

verb
be·​tray | \ bi-ˈtrā How to pronounce betray (audio) \
betrayed; betraying

Kids Definition of betray

1 : to give over to an enemy by treason or treachery betray a fort
2 : to be unfaithful to betray a friend betrayed our trust
3 : to reveal or show without meaning to betray fear
4 : to tell in violation of a trust betray a secret

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More from Merriam-Webster on betray

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with betray

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for betray

Spanish Central: Translation of betray

Nglish: Translation of betray for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of betray for Arabic Speakers

Comments on betray

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