turn·​coat | \ ˈtərn-ˌkōt How to pronounce turncoat (audio) \

Definition of turncoat

: one who switches to an opposing side or party specifically : traitor

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Examples of turncoat in a Sentence

the plot of the story revolved around the gangster's relentless determination to learn the identity of the turncoat
Recent Examples on the Web But Lundergan's defense lawyers slammed Hurst as a turncoat for turning on his former mentor to avoid prosecution. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "House Democrats dump consultant after Gov. Andy Beshear's ultimatum," 21 Feb. 2020 John Bolton, Trump's former national security adviser, is the latest turncoat in the spotlight. TheWeek, "All the president's turncoats," 27 Jan. 2020 On January 5th only 12 turncoats joined pro-government legislators in proclaiming Luis Parra as the new speaker, but with no vote count. The Economist, "Bello A crude attempt to stifle what’s left of Venezuela’s democracy," 11 Jan. 2020 Instead, Trump and his allies turned on Bolton with a fury, calling the longtime party stalwart a deep-state tool, a turncoat and worse. Chris Megerian, Anchorage Daily News, "Republicans who once scorned Trump rally to save his presidency," 2 Feb. 2020 Alstom SA’s former CEO Patrick Kron, blasted as a turncoat by many in France for selling off his company’s energy assets to GE, increasingly looks like the dealmaker of the century, writes Bloomberg Opinion’s Chris Bryant. Washington Post, "No U.S. Manufacturer Asked for More Tariffs," 12 May 2019 As much credit as Mr. Hernandez’s cooperation won him from prosecutors, his September stint as a government witness in Federal District Court in Manhattan led hip-hop fans and other rappers to call him a turncoat, a snitch and a fraud. Ed Shanahan, New York Times, "Tekashi69 Is Praised by Prosecutors, Who Urge a Lenient Sentence," 4 Dec. 2019 Mafia historians call him one of the most important turncoats ever to testify against the mob. Kathy Tulumello, azcentral, "Arizona Republic reporter's cellphones snatched in interview with restaurant operator," 6 Dec. 2019 That’s led some fans to theorize that the grizzled and bearded Harbour who shows up in the Black Widow trailer, is actually Hopper, tortured and made a turncoat by the Russians, decades on. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Breaking Down the First Black Widow Trailer," 3 Dec. 2019

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

1557, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for turncoat

Time Traveler

The first known use of turncoat was in 1557

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Cite this Entry

“Turncoat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turncoat. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce turncoat (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of turncoat

disapproving : a person who stops being a member of a group in order to join another group that opposes it

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More from Merriam-Webster on turncoat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for turncoat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with turncoat

Spanish Central: Translation of turncoat

Nglish: Translation of turncoat for Spanish Speakers

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