per·​fi·​dy | \ ˈpər-fə-dē How to pronounce perfidy (audio) \
plural perfidies

Definition of perfidy

1 : the quality or state of being faithless or disloyal : treachery
2 : an act or an instance of disloyalty

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Examples of perfidy in a Sentence

A man who built his entire administration upon demanding unctuous loyalty from his allies now finds himself wounded by their shabby betrayal. You'd have to go back to one of Spain's humpbacked Hapsburgs to find court perfidy of the variety that is currently depleting the president's power. — Jack Hitt, Mother Jones, January & February 2006 The petty Robespierres on the public stage appeal to "the real America" to rise up in fury against presidential perfidies; yet in poll after poll the real America keeps telling Washington that it has gone bonkers. — David L. Kirp, Nation, 8 Mar. 1999 I lived there off and on for twenty years, through graduate studies, marriage, the end of marriage, the perfidies of middle age, all the while unaware of passion. — Susan Barron, New England Monthly, October 1989 They are guilty of perfidy. he decided to forgive his wife's perfidy, choosing to ascribe it to a moment of uncharacteristic weakness
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Recent Examples on the Web The nation's citizens should see the evidence of the obscene corruption of Russia's leaders — including Navalny's video expose of Putin's perfidy that's already been viewed more than 80 million times. Star Tribune, "Keep the heat on Putin to free Alexei Navalny," 25 Jan. 2021 With three, four, even five rallies a day, Trump held forth on everything from the perfidy of the Democrats to the awfulness of the weather. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Clown Coup Crisis," 20 Nov. 2020 Mayhew himself seems to be experiencing physical pain as a punishment for his perfidy. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, "Matthew J. Mayhew Is the Man Our New America Needs," 29 Sep. 2020 Silvia Moreno-Garcia, best known for writing fantasy novels, has come up with a first-rate thriller, a tale of monstrous perfidy set in 1979 in Baja California, Mexico. Katherine A. Powers, Washington Post, "For your playlist: The best new audiobooks of the month," 3 Mar. 2020 To be sure, there isn’t much more to be said about Trump’s perfidy, and, in the grand scheme of things, even the spectacle of Bolton providing a firsthand account of the President’s lying and venality may not do him much further damage. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "John Bolton’s Book Is Making Fools of Trump’s Republican Enablers," 29 Jan. 2020 But Trump is eager to draw attention to Vindman and what Trump perceives as his perfidy. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "Alexander Vindman to be ousted from National Security Council as early as Friday," 7 Feb. 2020 Stanley Kubrick located a superb film, 1957’s Paths of Glory, in the ornate chambers (and the perfidy) of the generals who oversaw the waste of those lives. Karl Vick, Time, "Sam Mendes on Taking World War I Out of the Trenches and Into the Theater in 1917," 3 Dec. 2019 His descriptions of the perfidy of the British élite have the ring of an insider. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, "How Brexit Will End," 25 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perfidy.' 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 perfidy

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for perfidy

Latin perfidia, from perfidus faithless, from per- detrimental to + fides faith — more at per-, faith

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Learn More about perfidy

Time Traveler for perfidy

Time Traveler

The first known use of perfidy was in 1592

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Statistics for perfidy

Last Updated

11 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Perfidy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for perfidy



English Language Learners Definition of perfidy

literary : the act of betraying someone or something : the state of not being loyal


per·​fi·​dy | \ ˈpər-fə-dē How to pronounce perfidy (audio) \
plural perfidies

Kids Definition of perfidy

More from Merriam-Webster on perfidy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for perfidy

Nglish: Translation of perfidy for Spanish Speakers

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