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[trey-ter] /ˈtreɪ tər/
a person who betrays another, a cause, or any trust.
a person who commits treason by betraying his or her country.
Origin of traitor
1175-1225; Middle English < Old French < Latin trāditōr-, stem of trāditor betrayer. See traditor
Related forms
traitorship, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for traitor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "You were always a cur and a traitor, Mark Shaw," cried Aylward.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • We girls used to wonder what the lovers talked about while they waited for the traitor.

  • All that is now doubtful concerning this man is, whether he was a coward or a traitor.

  • Robin tells me, that the Joseph Leman, whom you mention as the traitor, saw him.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • If I be so, I am a traitor to the king should I reveal his secret.

    Leila, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for traitor


a person who is guilty of treason or treachery, in betraying friends, country, a cause or trust, etc
Derived Forms
traitorous, adjective
traitorously, adverb
traitorship, noun
traitress, noun:feminine
Word Origin
C13: from Old French traitour, from Latin trāditortraditor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for traitor

c.1200, from Old French traitor (11c.), from Latin traditorem (nominative traditor) "betrayer," literally "one who delivers," from stem of tradere "deliver, surrender" (see tradition). Originally usually with a suggestion of Judas Iscariot.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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