be·​tray·​al bi-ˈtrā(-ə)l How to pronounce betrayal (audio)
plural betrayals
: the act of betraying someone or something or the fact of being betrayed : violation of a person's trust or confidence, of a moral standard, etc.
the betrayal of a friend
a betrayal of trust
a betrayal of one's principles
A man who built his entire administration upon demanding unctuous loyalty from his allies now finds himself wounded by their shabby betrayal.Jack Hitt
The double life of an informant is a peculiar one, filled at the same time with tedium and betrayal.Karen Richardson
Even Jesus recognized that there was something paradoxical about his betrayal by Judas Iscariot—in three of the four canonical Gospels, with a kiss.David Gates
: revelation of something hidden or secret
a betrayal of one's true feelings
There was never doubt, never a betrayal of indecision.Jack London
… she had shrunk with irresistible dread from every course that could tend towards a betrayal of her miserable secret.George Eliot

Examples of betrayal in a Sentence

the terrible betrayal of having her best friend reveal her confidences to others
Recent Examples on the Web That betrayal wound up ending Flowers' friendships with both Kroll and Green. Dave Quinn, Peoplemag, 12 July 2024 Each day is a gamble of life and death, hope and betrayal; friendships run deep and can be shattered in an instant. Sarah Yang, Sunset Magazine, 8 July 2024 So this is how the world ends, not with a whimper but a great many massive bangs, battles and increasingly complicated alliances, betrayals and stirring songs. Stephanie Bunbury, Deadline, 1 July 2024 The Spanish-language series, set in the fictional Las Encinas elite private school, will serve up more of its trademark twists and betrayals while also doing an admirable job of covering social issues in an artful way. Abid Rahman, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for betrayal 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'betrayal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1788, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of betrayal was in 1788

Dictionary Entries Near betrayal

Cite this Entry

“Betrayal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

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