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

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 The now-famous line from Sojourner Truth's speech at the 1851 Women’s Rights Convention in Akron highlighted how white women ignored and even betrayed their black counterparts in the struggle for suffrage. Jackie Borchardt, Cincinnati.com, "100 years later, Ohio's track record of electing female leaders remains abysmal," 12 June 2019 Ninety-five percent of all stuff takes mysterious, nonluminous forms dubbed dark matter and dark energy, which betray their presence in the cosmos by attracting and repulsing, respectively, the 5 percent of stuff that’s visible. Quanta Magazine, "An Astrophysicist Who Maps the Universe’s Terra Incognita," 4 Feb. 2019 Still, the emotional terrain of the book stays clear and compelling, even as the sprawling cast of characters form and betray one alliance after another. Constance Grady, Vox, "With Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik cements her status as one of the great YA fantasy authors," 20 July 2018 That huge sample, spanning most of the visible universe, will allow the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) to look for fluctuations in the clumping patterns that might betray the nature of dark energy. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Robot detector to map cosmos for clues to dark energy," 11 Sep. 2019 Those who betrayed Puerto Rico want to perpetuate themselves unscrupulously. Jennifer A. Marcial Ocasio, orlandosentinel.com, "Pedro Pierluisi sworn in as governor of Puerto Rico after Ricardo Rosselló steps down," 2 Aug. 2019 In its sequel, The Dragon Republic, Rin is now on the run and seeking to murder the Empress who betrayed her country, while struggling with her addiction to opium and the commands of the Phoenix, a god who has incredible powers. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "10 new science fiction and fantasy novels to check out this August," 1 Aug. 2019 Defense attorneys, meanwhile, described him as a compulsive hoarder who never betrayed his country. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ex-NSA contractor from Glen Burnie sentenced to 9 years for stolen documents," 19 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

19 Oct 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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