trai·​tor | \ ˈtrā-tər How to pronounce traitor (audio) \

Definition of traitor

1 : one who betrays another's trust or is false to an obligation or duty
2 : one who commits treason

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Examples of traitor in a Sentence

She has been called a traitor to the liberal party's cause. He was a traitor who betrayed his country by selling military secrets to the enemy.
Recent Examples on the Web Some say they have been called a race traitor, sellout or Uncle Tom while in uniform. al, "How growing up Black in Alabama molded San Francisco’s police chief," 2 Aug. 2020 Seeing the poem as a theological justification for slavery, some later readers denounced Phillis as a race traitor. Elizabeth Winkler, The New Yorker, "How Phillis Wheatley Was Recovered Through History," 30 July 2020 Paik Sun-yup, South Korea’s first four-star general, who was lionized as a Korean War hero by the South Korean and US militaries but dismissed by many in his country as a traitor, died Friday. Choe Sang-hun,, "Paik Sun-yup, major South Korean war hero, dies at 99," 12 July 2020 He was called an embarrassment to the country and a traitor to his race. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Clayton Kershaw elaborates on his Juneteenth message: ‘Silence won’t cut it’," 19 June 2020 Holly, too, is ostracized because her fellow fairies assume her own father, Birchwood (another invention for the film), was a traitor. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: Artemis Fowl is a crushing disappointment," 13 June 2020 There, in stony silence, Davis, the traitor, has represented what is wrong with man, and for hundreds of years, what was wrong with our country. Joseph Gerth, The Courier-Journal, "Jefferson Davis represented what is wrong with our country. Kentucky showed what is right," 13 June 2020 That plaque has now been vandalised with the words 'rata' and 'traidor pelo mocho', which translate as 'rat' and 'mop haired traitor' in English., "Antoine Griezmann Plaque at Wanda Metropolitano Defaced Following Barcelona Move," 16 July 2019 But several of his co-defendants regarded him as a traitor. Gary Kamiya,, "In World War I, SF became a hotbed for a German-inspired conspiracy," 6 Mar. 2020

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for traitor

Middle English traytour, from Anglo-French traitre, from Latin traditor, from tradere to hand over, deliver, betray, from trans-, tra- trans- + dare to give — more at date

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Time Traveler for traitor

Time Traveler

The first known use of traitor was in the 13th century

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Statistics for traitor

Last Updated

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Traitor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for traitor


How to pronounce traitor (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of traitor

: a person who is not loyal to his or her own country, friends, etc. : a person who betrays a country or group of people by helping or supporting an enemy


trai·​tor | \ ˈtrā-tər How to pronounce traitor (audio) \

Kids Definition of traitor

1 : a person who is not loyal or true to a friend, duty, cause, or belief or is false to a personal duty
2 : a person who betrays his or her country : a person who commits treason

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More from Merriam-Webster on traitor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for traitor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with traitor

Spanish Central: Translation of traitor

Nglish: Translation of traitor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of traitor for Arabic Speakers

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