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

Swords, axes, darts, clubs, feet and fists fly as Xin beats assorted robbers, assassins, soldiers and turncoat generals. Charles Solomon, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Kingdom’s’ sword-wielding manga heroes go to war in a thrilling flurry of action," 15 Aug. 2019 In time, her reputation became scarred by accusations of extreme brutality toward suspected turncoats, misbehavior and indiscretion in her private life, and a radicalism that seemed at odds with Mr. Mandela’s quest for racial inclusiveness. Alan Cowell, New York Times, "Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Is Dead at 81; Fought Apartheid," 2 Apr. 2018 Once a member of the society herself, the turncoat has since made off with the eponymous Blue Blade, a powerful and magical object through which time travel is possible. Juliet Bennett Rylah, Los Angeles Magazine, "After a Year Hiatus, One of L.A.’s Scariest Theater Experiences Is Returning," 22 June 2018 The turncoats were mainly members of the Freedom Caucus — or Fleadom Caucus, as some now call those pesky members. Andrew Malcolm, San Francisco Chronicle, "How a GOP-led Congress defeats GOP members," 22 May 2018 The turncoat had disclosed the names of Russians who had been helping the CIA. Fox News, "CIA's Haspel can tap undercover work in Russian operations," 19 May 2018 When the lawyer, John Fitzgerald, who was then representing a Mob turncoat Joe Barboza, turned on the ignition to his car in 1968, the explosive detonated. John R. Ellement, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Cadillac Frank’ no stranger to prison and violence," 9 May 2018 Selling off its gun brands could be seen as turncoat compromise by Second Amendment absolutists (see what happened to Yeti last week). Boycotts of those brands by that crowd could follow. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "Vista Outdoor to Stop Making Guns," 1 May 2018 Twain, a beloved icon to decades of readers, appears to have been guilty of this same turncoat behavior with his nephew, Charles Webster, in 1888. Marie Lavendier, courant.com, "The Lioness And The King: Was Mark Twain's Secretary A Treasure? Or 'A Salacious Slut'?," 29 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for turncoat

Last Updated

28 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for turncoat

The first known use of turncoat was in 1557

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with turncoat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for turncoat

Spanish Central: Translation of turncoat

Nglish: Translation of turncoat for Spanish Speakers

Comments on turncoat

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recurring in steady succession

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