treacherous

Synonym Chooser

How is the word treacherous different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of treacherous are disloyal, faithless, false, perfidious, and traitorous. While all these words mean "untrue to what should command one's fidelity or allegiance," treacherous implies readiness to betray trust or confidence.

a treacherous adviser

When can disloyal be used instead of treacherous?

Although the words disloyal and treacherous have much in common, disloyal implies a lack of complete faithfulness to a friend, cause, leader, or country.

disloyal to their country

When could faithless be used to replace treacherous?

While in some cases nearly identical to treacherous, faithless applies to any failure to keep a promise or pledge or any breach of allegiance or loyalty.

faithless allies

Where would false be a reasonable alternative to treacherous?

The words false and treacherous are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, false stresses the fact of failing to be true in any manner ranging from fickleness to cold treachery.

betrayed by false friends

How do perfidious and faithless relate to one another, in the sense of treacherous?

Perfidious adds to faithless the implication of an incapacity for fidelity or reliability.

a perfidious double-crosser

When is traitorous a more appropriate choice than treacherous?

The synonyms traitorous and treacherous are sometimes interchangeable, but traitorous implies either actual treason or a serious betrayal of trust.

traitorous acts punishable by death

Thesaurus Entries Near treacherous

Cite this Entry

“Treacherous.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/treacherous. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

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