betray

verb
be·​tray | \ bi-ˈtrā How to pronounce betray (audio) , bē- \
betrayed; betraying; betrays

Definition of betray

transitive verb

1 : to lead astray especially : seduce a nation betrayed into violence a teenager betrayed by a much older man
2 : to deliver to an enemy by treachery was betrayed to the authorities by one of his students betraying one's own country
3 : to fail or desert especially in time of need betrayed his family felt that she would be betraying her principles You've betrayed our trust.
4a : to reveal unintentionally betray one's true feelings
b : show, indicate His best columns betray … the philosophical bent of his mind.— John Mason Brown
c : to disclose in violation of confidence betray a secret

intransitive verb

: to prove false

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Other Words from betray

betrayer \ bi-​ˈtrā-​ər How to pronounce betray (audio) , bē-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for betray

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for betray

reveal, disclose, divulge, tell, betray mean to make known what has been or should be concealed. 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 disclose may imply a discovering but more often an imparting of information previously kept secret. candidates must disclose their financial assets divulge implies a disclosure involving some impropriety or breach of confidence. refused to divulge an anonymous source tell implies an imparting of necessary or useful information. told them what he had overheard betray implies a divulging that represents a breach of faith or an involuntary or unconscious disclosure. a blush that betrayed her embarrassment

Examples of betray in a Sentence

They betrayed their country by selling its secrets to other governments. She is very loyal and would never betray a friend. She betrayed her own people by supporting the enemy. She coughed, betraying her presence behind the door.
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Recent Examples on the Web Fierce denials by its executives now betray their unwillingness to change. Adam Geller, chicagotribune.com, 10 Oct. 2021 While that might sound like a great twist for the character, this Mordo will still betray Strange at some point, giving him up to the Illuminati at some point in the film. Chris Smith, BGR, 30 Sep. 2021 Or does this betray the abstract, nonsemantic nature of musical thought? Adam Kirsch, The New York Review of Books, 23 Sep. 2021 Former White Sox employee James Costello had worked in the team’s ticket sales booth for more than three decades when, federal prosecutors allege, ticket broker Bruce Lee persuaded him to betray the team’s trust. Madeline Buckley, chicagotribune.com, 1 Oct. 2021 But increasingly high-intensity fires, fueled by drought and climate change, are threatening to betray that ecological contract. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2021 To superimpose synchronous music on this film seemed to me to betray completely in the spirit of the project. Jamie Lang, Variety, 7 Sep. 2021 On the other hand, when the manager can create a strong relationship with an employee, that employee is unlikely to betray the manager’s trust by just not showing up when they’re supposed to. Caroline Lee, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021 But if some were acting out of a cynicism of the right sort, does that imply there were others who were prepared to betray their companies’ shareholders for more squalid reasons? Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 30 Aug. 2021

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for betray

Middle English, from be- + trayen to betray, from Anglo-French trahir, from Latin tradere — more at traitor

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Time Traveler for betray

Time Traveler

The first known use of betray was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near betray

betrample

betray

betrayal

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Statistics for betray

Last Updated

25 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Betray.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/betray. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for betray

betray

verb

English Language Learners Definition of betray

: to give information about (a person, group, country, etc.) to an enemy
: to hurt (someone who trusts you, such as a friend or relative) by not giving help or by doing something morally wrong
: to show (something, such as a feeling or desire) without wanting or trying to

betray

verb
be·​tray | \ bi-ˈtrā How to pronounce betray (audio) \
betrayed; betraying

Kids Definition of betray

1 : to give over to an enemy by treason or treachery betray a fort
2 : to be unfaithful to betray a friend betrayed our trust
3 : to reveal or show without meaning to betray fear
4 : to tell in violation of a trust betray a secret

More from Merriam-Webster on betray

Nglish: Translation of betray for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of betray for Arabic Speakers

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