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

Americans were told that the president was a traitor who had colluded with Vladimir Putin to subvert U.S. democracy. Marc A. Thiessen, The Mercury News, "Thiessen: Mueller’s testimony is good news for Trump and Pelosi," 25 July 2019 Upon her return, a political opponent called her a traitor for visiting North Vietnam. Anne M. Hamilton,, "Extraordinary Life: During a long lifetime of exploring and speaking up, Mims Butterworth had a simple philosophy: ‘always say yes’," 21 July 2019 In addition to being on hostile territory, Giordano's was located around the corner from homegrown marinara-pie slinger Pizza Papalis, which remains a popular option for local traitors. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Chicago-style pizza restaurant Giordano's shutters downtown Detroit location," 1 July 2019 In that hot window of time, she’s been stalked on social media and called an opportunist, a traitor to her race, and a washed-up, has-been actress. Elizabeth Wellington,, "Topless Bill Cosby protester: 'If I had been a little older… that could have been me'," 19 Apr. 2018 Some of the platoon members who spoke out were called traitors in a closed Facebook group and were threatened with violence. Dave Philipps, New York Times, "Navy SEAL Chief Accused of War Crimes Is Found Not Guilty of Murder," 2 July 2019 The government declared Sarout a traitor, banning him from soccer and offering a reward for information leading to his arrest. Washington Post, "Syrian soccer goalie who became rebel icon dies in battle," 9 June 2019 The government declared Sarout a traitor, banning him from soccer and offering a reward for information leading to his arrest. NBC News, "'Guardian of freedom': Syrian soccer goalie who became rebel icon dies in battle," 9 June 2019 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

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

1 Aug 2019

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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

What made you want to look up traitor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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