Synonym Chooser

How does the verb betray differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of betray are disclose, divulge, reveal, and tell. While all these words mean "to make known what has been or should be concealed," betray implies a divulging that represents a breach of faith or an involuntary or unconscious disclosure.

a blush that betrayed her embarrassment

When is it sensible to use disclose instead of betray?

Although the words disclose and betray have much in common, disclose may imply a discovering but more often an imparting of information previously kept secret.

candidates must disclose their financial assets

When can divulge be used instead of betray?

While the synonyms divulge and betray are close in meaning, divulge implies a disclosure involving some impropriety or breach of confidence.

refused to divulge an anonymous source

When could reveal be used to replace betray?

While in some cases nearly identical to betray, reveal may apply to supernatural or inspired revelation of truths beyond the range of ordinary human vision or reason.

divine will as revealed in sacred writings

In what contexts can tell take the place of betray?

The words tell and betray are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, tell implies an imparting of necessary or useful information.

told them what he had overheard

Thesaurus Entries Near betray

Cite this Entry

“Betray.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on betray

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