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

In a few months, Mr Imamoglu has already become the face of a more open, inclusive Turkey, a far cry from Mr Erdogan’s vision of a country beset by outside enemies, including Europe and America, and divided between patriots and traitors. The Economist, "A re-election in Istanbul tests President Erdogan’s power," 21 June 2019 Although her support for a man the Viennese court regarded as a traitor provoked animosity, Elisabeth’s actions played a role in keeping Hungary within the empire. National Geographic, "Life for this Bavarian princess was no fairy tale," 14 May 2019 Though Trump has projected confidence that Cohen will remain loyal, the president and his backers are prepared to make the case that Cohen is a traitor and fabricator who will say anything to stay out of jail. Callum Borchers, Washington Post, "Trump’s campaign to discredit Michael Cohen is already underway," 14 June 2018 Two men who worked with Mallory at intelligence contractors in Iraq testified their old colleague was always a risk-taker and rule-breaker - but not a traitor. Rachel Weiner,, "Former CIA officer Kevin Mallory found guilty of selling secrets to China," 8 June 2018 Well, comparing the president's conference with Putin to Pearl Harbor an 9/11, Kristallnacht, the beginning in the Holocaust, calling him a traitor and treasonous. Fox News, "Mark Levin on media freakout over Trump-Putin summit," 18 July 2018 Also, one or more of your friends are traitors, determined to kill the rest and leave your corpses in the snow. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Bungie divorces Activision, Epic gives our favorite game of 2017 away for free," 11 Jan. 2019 In Turkey, though, Topkaya was called a traitor by his own brother, who applied to change his family name, according to Turkish media. Fox News, "Purged NATO officer speaks out after escaping jail in Turkey," 30 Aug. 2018 Since May, the Saudi government has arrested at least a dozen women’s rights advocates, accusing them of nefarious contacts with foreign parties and branding them traitors in the press. Kareem Fahim, Washington Post, "Meet the Saudi women who advocated for the right to drive — and are paying dearly for it," 23 June 2018

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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Statistics for traitor

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for traitor

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

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More Definitions for traitor



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with traitor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for traitor

Spanish Central: Translation of traitor

Nglish: Translation of traitor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of traitor for Arabic Speakers

Comments on traitor

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