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

She felt betrayed by the church and stopped attending. New York Times, "Maryetta Dussourd, 74, Dies; Raised Early Alarm on Abusive Priests," 3 June 2019 And besides, Cramer’s manifest envy of other GOP candidates who have secured a presidential appearance on their behalf may betray a reluctance to accept that North Dakota is not exactly a prime presidential travel destination. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "North Dakota’s GOP Senate Candidate Complains That Trump Is Being Too Nice to a Democrat," 12 June 2018 Thus South Korea and Japan would remain under threat—and feel betrayed by an ally interested in protecting only itself. The Economist, "Donald Trump is undermining the rules-based international order," 7 June 2018 She’s been abandoned by lovers and betrayed by musical partners. David Lyman, Cincinnati.com, "Review: 'Hedwig' is mesmerizing, wonderfully triumphant," 7 June 2018 Instead, McIlroy never could catch Patrick Reed and shot a final-round 74, betrayed by a recalcitrant putter. Scott Fowler, charlotteobserver, "What Rory McIlroy wants for his 29th birthday Friday seems impossible - but he's done it before | Charlotte Observer," 3 May 2018 Here's what happened to Tyrion Lannister, who betrayed Daenerys Targaryen and committed treason in the penultimate episode. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "What Happened to Tyrion Lannister in the 'Game of Thrones' Finale?," 20 May 2019 In some parts of Latin America, an effigy of Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, is burned. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "What Is Holy Saturday, the Day Before Easter, and Why Do We Celebrate It?," 1 Mar. 2019 On the other hand, most of the public officials who betrayed the public trust over Teapot Dome didn’t face any serious reckoning. Andrew Coan, WSJ, "Why Robert Mueller’s Predecessors Usually Didn’t Prevail," 25 Jan. 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

15 Jun 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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