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

Antonyms

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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 Members of the globe-trotting crew face an unexpected challenge when a mysterious woman named Cipher forces Dom to betray them all. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 The boy did not want to betray Liverpool and said no to United who insisted so much with him. SI.com, "Bobby Duncan Rejected Man Utd Move Due to Liverpool Loyalty Before Acrimonious Split," 6 Sep. 2019 The problem is that this current president is continuing to betray us. NBC News, "Democratic debate transcript: July 31, 2019," 1 Aug. 2019 Yet, neither of these obstacles feel large enough to actually push Jane to betray Bonnie and the rest of her friends. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "The Big Little Lies Finale Is Coming — Which Of The Monterey Five Will Spill The Lie?," 15 July 2019 In 2017’s Fate of the Furious, Theron starred as the big bad Cipher, a cyberterrorist who forced Dom (Diesel) to betray his family and work for her. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, "Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren strap back in for Fast & Furious 9," 8 July 2019 In another piece that year the Times fixture wrote that his partisan opponents appeared to be willing to betray their country not just for power, but for money as well. James Freeman, WSJ, "Donald Trump and the New York Times," 20 June 2019 Of course, but isn't that better than letting her stay with a guy who's going to betray her? Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "My Best Friend's Boyfriend Tried to Hook Up With Me. Do I Tell Her?," 2 May 2019 Luck is 29 years old, and already his body is betraying him. baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Stoetzer: Many NFL fans have lost their grip on reality," 25 Aug. 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

2 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce betray (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for betray

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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