treason

noun
trea·​son | \ ˈtrē-zᵊn How to pronounce treason (audio) \

Definition of treason

1 : the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign's family
2 : the betrayal of a trust : treachery

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Examples of treason in a Sentence

He is guilty of treason. reading a friend's diary without permission would have to be regarded as the ultimate act of personal treason

Recent Examples on the Web

May 31: Crawford: The president has tweeted and said publicly that some in the [FBI’s] upper echelon, [James] Comey, [Andrew] McCabe, etc., committed treason. WSJ, "Notable & Quotable: Bill Barr on Bias," 2 June 2019 Here's what happened to Tyrion Lannister, who betrayed Daenerys Targaryen and committed treason in the penultimate episode. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "What Happened to Tyrion Lannister in the 'Game of Thrones' Finale?," 20 May 2019 There’s a very good reason for that: The bar for treason is really high. German Lopez, Vox, "Vox Sentences: “You sold your country out”," 19 Dec. 2018 In Uganda the maximum penalty for treason is death. Rodney Muhumuza, The Seattle Times, "Uganda opposition pop star says soldiers beat, tortured him," 3 Sep. 2018 Of course, King Charles I was tried, and subsequently executed in 1649, for treason. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Charles Might Change His Name When He Becomes King," 18 Aug. 2018 Another source of frustration is that Aye Maung, a prominent Rakhine political leader, has been charged with treason for allegedly instigating a pro-autonomy protest last year. Jon Emont, WSJ, "Feuding Monks Expose Bitter Ethnic Buddhist Divisions in Myanmar," 9 Feb. 2019 Other recent measures included the freeing, either on bail or as a result of pardons, of political prisoners, including opposition party chief Kem Sokha, who was charged last year with treason on the basis of flimsy evidence. Sopheng Cheang, The Seattle Times, "Cambodian court gives suspended sentences to labor leaders," 11 Dec. 2018 But Skrzypski, who is charged with treason, still faces up to 20 years in prison if he's found guilty. Stephen Wright, Fox News, "Polish globe-trotter blunders into Indonesia-Papua conflict," 24 Sep. 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for treason

Middle English tresoun, from Anglo-French traisun, from Latin tradition-, traditio act of handing over, from tradere to hand over, betray — more at traitor

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More Definitions for treason

treason

noun

English Language Learners Definition of treason

: the crime of trying to overthrow your country's government or of helping your country's enemies during war

treason

noun
trea·​son | \ ˈtrē-zᵊn How to pronounce treason (audio) \

Kids Definition of treason

: the crime of trying or helping to overthrow the government of the criminal's own country or cause its defeat in war

treason

noun
trea·​son | \ ˈtrēz-ᵊn How to pronounce treason (audio) \

Legal Definition of treason

: the offense of attempting to overthrow the government of one's country or of assisting its enemies in war specifically : the act of levying war against the United States or adhering to or giving aid and comfort to its enemies by one who owes it allegiance

Other Words from treason

treasonous \ -​əs How to pronounce treasonous (audio) \ adjective

History and Etymology for treason

Anglo-French treison crime of violence against a person to whom allegiance is owed, literally, betrayal, from Old French traïson, from traïr to betray, from Latin tradere to hand over, surrender

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Comments on treason

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