trai·​tor | \ ˈtrā-tər How to pronounce traitor (audio) \

Definition of traitor

1 : one who betrays another's trust or is false to an obligation or duty
2 : one who commits treason

Examples of traitor in a Sentence

She has been called a traitor to the liberal party's cause. He was a traitor who betrayed his country by selling military secrets to the enemy.
Recent Examples on the Web At the risk of being branded a traitor, Alla Pugacheva used her famous voice over the weekend to question the seven-month war, becoming the most prominent Russian celebrity to do so. Andrew Katell, ajc, 19 Sep. 2022 Communists and hard-liners consider Gorbachev a traitor for allowing East European countries to break free of Soviet control, and for presiding over the dissolution of the Communist Party in 1991. Mary Ilyushina, Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2022 Hindsight has judged the AGF harshly, and Conwell-Evans in particular as a fellow traveler, even a traitor. Dominic Green, WSJ, 31 Aug. 2022 Knowing how his true nature, though, Coulson, Tony Stark, and ironically, the HYDRA traitor Jasper Sitwell advocated on SHIELD's behalf that Blonsky not be selected, and Ross agreed. Evan Romano, Men's Health, 25 Aug. 2022 He was supported by many Lebanese Christians but considered a traitor by others for his cooperation with Israel, which invaded Lebanon in a 1982 war. Abbas Al Lawati, CNN, 24 Aug. 2022 Other missives threaten her family or call her a traitor. Elizabeth L. T. Moore,, 19 Aug. 2022 Many art critics and friends of Guston reacted in horror, seeing him as a traitor to abstract art. Peter Saenger, WSJ, 22 Apr. 2022 My objective as an artist is to be a traitor to that culture, not to uplift it. Evan Nicole Brown, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'traitor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of traitor

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for traitor

Middle English traytour, from Anglo-French traitre, from Latin traditor, from tradere to hand over, deliver, betray, from trans-, tra- trans- + dare to give — more at date

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Time Traveler for traitor

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

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Last Updated

24 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Traitor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for traitor


trai·​tor | \ ˈtrā-tər How to pronounce traitor (audio) \

Kids Definition of traitor

1 : a person who is not loyal or true to a friend, duty, cause, or belief or is false to a personal duty
2 : a person who betrays his or her country : a person who commits treason

More from Merriam-Webster on traitor

Nglish: Translation of traitor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of traitor for Arabic Speakers


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