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

One of the Algerian characters explodes into an anti-Semitic tirade, accusing Algeria’s Jews of being traitors to the national cause, worse than the colonialists themselves. Adam Shatz, The New Yorker, "“How Does It Feel To Be a White Man?”: William Gardner Smith’s Exile in Paris," 11 Aug. 2019 Treason is the gravest crime possible and traitors must be punished. NBC News, "Russia's Vladimir Putin: Liberalism in Europe is 'obsolete'," 28 June 2019 The spat got a little nastier as more people joined the fray, with conservative essayists calling French a traitor to the Christian cause and some even calling for him to be fired from his job at the National Review. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Conservative Christians in the US are battling about whether to fight nice," 17 June 2019 And that’s not the only thing coming to a head: Fred reels from Serena’s betrayal, Joseph grieves his wife’s death, and the hunt is on for Gilead traitors. Ew Staff,, "What to Watch on Wednesday: June faces a deadly decision on the Handmaid's Tale season finale," 14 Aug. 2019 There are so many reasons to confront these coffee traitors. Jim Gaffigan, CBS News, "Jim Gaffigan: Decaf coffee is un-American," 11 Aug. 2019 The traitor can of course cause all kinds of clandestine havoc here. Aaron Zimmerman, Ars Technica, "The hottest new board games from Gen Con 2019," 10 Aug. 2019 One of his friends rat him out to the feds, and the end of the video shows Tory getting taken to a cop car while the traitor smiles nearby. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Tory Lanez Gets Betrayed by a Friend in 'Forever' Music Video: Watch," 2 Aug. 2019 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

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

12 Sep 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

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