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

The film starts on Feb. 24, 2004, with Knightley as Katharine standing in the dock at the Old Bailey being accused of violating the Official Secrets Act and committing treason. Kenneth Turan, chicagotribune.com, "‘Official Secrets’ review: Keira Knightley stars as a true-life whistle blower," 5 Sep. 2019 In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr was found not guilty of treason. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 1 Sep. 2019 The film starts on Feb. 24, 2004, with Knightley as Katharine standing in the dock at the Old Bailey being accused of violating the Official Secrets Act and committing treason. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Keira Knightley stars in ‘Official Secrets’ as a true-life whistle blower," 27 Aug. 2019 The engine that propelled this along day after day, month after month, was the national media, who, among other things, trotted out some very high level former intelligence officials who told us on many occasions that Trump had committed treason. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: Contrary to Soucheray’s claim, Ramsey County budget is in plain language, with performance measurements," 22 Aug. 2019 The watching world had been stupefied by trials in Moscow when foremost Communists pleaded guilty to crimes of treason they could not possibly have committed. David Pryce-jones, National Review, "The Cold War of Words," 22 Aug. 2019 In a March interview on Fox News with Sean Hannity, the president accused Strzok and Page of treason. Andrew Harris / Bloomberg, Time, "Former FBI Agent Peter Strzok Sues Over 'Unlawful' Firing," 7 Aug. 2019 Each political party is accusing the other of committing treason. David Rohde, The New Yorker, "The Competing Partisan Plot Lines of Robert Mueller’s Testimony," 24 July 2019 And if our nation is losing the ability to debate public policy without screaming about treason — that really matters. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "AOC to Mitch McConnell: You're not a commie, just a bad leader," 30 July 2019

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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