treason

noun trea·son \ ˈtrē-zᵊn \
Updated on: 4 Dec 2017

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

Examples of treason in a Sentence

  1. He is guilty of treason.

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

Recent Examples of treason from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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


TREASON Defined for English Language Learners

treason

noun

Definition of treason for English Language Learners

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


TREASON Defined for Kids

treason

noun trea·son \ ˈtrē-zᵊn \

Definition of treason for Students

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

Law Dictionary

treason

noun trea·son \ ˈtrēz-ᵊn \

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

treasonous

play \-əs\ adjective

Origin and Etymology of 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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