Definition of betray
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 feelingsb : show, indicate His best columns betray … the philosophical bent of his mind. — John Mason Brownc : to disclose in violation of confidence betray a secret
: to prove false
betrayalplay \-ˈtrā(-ə)l\ noun
betrayerplay \-ˈtrā-ər\ noun
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.
Recent Examples of betray from the Web
The white supremacists who have protested on Lee’s behalf are not betraying his legacy.
Surely the most tragic person who ever lived was Judas, who was blinded by greed and betrayed Christ for 30 pieces of silver.
But the rest of his body began betraying him before that.
But the voices calling for a clean break from Paris are no less urgent, tugging at the president’s gut-level instincts by arguing that remaining a party to the agreement would shackle the American economy and betray his core supporters.
Clearly Trump has betrayed the trust of blue-collar Americans — but the Democrats beat him to that sucker punch.
After that, the essays begin to betray a fatal sameness.
Her eyes betraying a rapidly aging soul, Nika is an especially heartbreaking character.
Lee Kantz firstname.lastname@example.org John Heilemann's article on the coalition that derailed legal immigration reform betrays not only monumental ignorance of immigration policy, but also an incredibly na�ve approach to journalism.
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.
Origin and Etymology of betray
Middle English, from be- + trayen to betray, from Anglo-French trahir, from Latin tradere — more at traitor
First Known Use: 13th century
Synonym Discussion of betray
BETRAY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of betray for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of betray for Students
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
Seen and Heard
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