traitor

noun

trai·​tor ˈtrā-tər How to pronounce traitor (audio)
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 People called them traitors and, using racial slurs, demanded they be lynched or shot. Elizabeth Williamson, New York Times, 31 Mar. 2024 Nell accomplishes plenty over the adventure’s first season, such that this common nobody even gets tangled up in the struggle between Queen Anne (Jodhi May) and the Jacobite traitors who would overthrow her. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Mar. 2024 Kate was eliminated and revealed as the last traitor, but the game wasn’t over just yet. Jordan Moreau, Variety, 8 Mar. 2024 Putin has always reserved special, preternatural contempt for traitors. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, 16 Feb. 2024 Leslie’s father was among the traitors who gave up, took the money, packed his things and his daughter, and fled. Jared Lemus, The Atlantic, 9 Mar. 2024 The first traitor to be found out was Big Brother's Dan Gheesling, who was booted in episode six. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, 6 Mar. 2024 That said, some traitors had been suspecting Parks for many days since Dan Gheesling, the first traitor to be banished in episode six, accused her on his way out. Emily Longeretta, Variety, 4 Mar. 2024 Viewers know who the traitors are, but the rest of the cast, called Faithful, do not. Krystie Lee Yandoli, Rolling Stone, 16 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'traitor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near traitor

Cite this Entry

“Traitor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/traitor. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

traitor

noun
trai·​tor ˈtrāt-ər How to pronounce traitor (audio)
1
: one who betrays another's trust or is false to an obligation or duty
2
: one who commits treason
Etymology

Middle English traitre "traitor," from early French traitre (same meaning), from Latin traditor (same meaning), derived from tradere "to hand over, betray" — related to treason see Word History at treason

More from Merriam-Webster on traitor

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