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 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 His media allies slammed Romney as a traitor and the White House sent Republican lawmakers talking points to use in their own Romney-bashing. TheWeek, "Trump didn't harm Mitt Romney by turning him into James Bond, Seth Meyers and The Late Show chuckle," 7 Feb. 2020 Jacobin radicals, who were loyal to the government that had preceded Napoleon’s coup, viewed the first consul as a traitor to the revolution, while royalists sought restoration of the monarchical ancient régime and the Bourbon dynasty. National Geographic, "The Christmas Eve plot to blow up Napoleon," 20 Dec. 2019 To many Portlanders, this action branded the campus demonstrators -- as radicals, as traitors. oregonlive, "Battle of the Park Blocks at 50: How a shocking burst of violence defined Portland -- and panicked Nixon’s White House," 4 May 2020 Franklin was worried about patriots being seen as traitors. David D. Haynes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "As coronavirus spreads in Wisconsin, it's a time to connect with our values of resilience and compassion," 19 Mar. 2020 By inquiring into the morality of the gangster film, Bellocchio is not a traitor to his art. Armond White, National Review, "The Traitor Reimagines the Gangster Film and Modern Morality," 31 Jan. 2020 Trump views the truth as treason and truth-tellers as traitors. TheWeek, "All the president's turncoats," 27 Jan. 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

5 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Traitor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 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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