- to deliver or expose to an enemy by treachery or disloyalty: Benedict Arnold betrayed his country.
- to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling: to betray a trust.
- to disappoint the hopes or expectations of; be disloyal to: to betray one's friends.
- to reveal or disclose in violation of confidence: to betray a secret.
- to reveal unconsciously (something one would preferably conceal): Her nervousness betrays her insecurity.
- to show or exhibit; reveal; disclose: an unfeeling remark that betrays his lack of concern.
- to deceive, misguide, or corrupt: a young lawyer betrayed by political ambitions into irreparable folly.
- to seduce and desert.
Origin of betray
SynonymsSee more synonyms for betray on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for betray
ISIS abducts boys, breaks them down, forces them to betray their families, then hopes to recruit them into its ranks.Abducted, Tortured, Indoctrinated: The Tale of a Teen Who Escaped ISIS
August 4, 2014
Jones said that as far as he can tell, the article did not betray any secrets.Fired From Los Alamos for Pushing Obama's Nuclear Agenda
Center for Public Integrity
July 31, 2014
The very source of his tremendous talent and athleticism seemed to betray him.A Lesson From LeBron James’ Game One Nightmare
Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD, Tej Azad
June 7, 2014
“A public official,” he added, “who accepts bribesis tantamount to a traitor” because they betray the trust of the public.Ehud Olmert’s Sentencing Won’t Be a Day of Reckoning for Israel’s Leaders
May 15, 2014
To save its better potential, we need to betray what it has become.We Need More Class Traitors: Solving America’s Meritocracy Problem
April 20, 2014
He resolved to pretend to be dumb, and he charged Terence not to betray him.Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)
His answer gave me a little start, but I did not betray myself.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
Nay, that foot has no fellow in the wilderness; it will betray her.The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper
If Heman felt any surprise at her knowledge of his purpose, he did not betray it.Meadow Grass
I warned you how it would be,—your own selfishness will betray and ruin you.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
- to aid an enemy of (one's nation, friend, etc); be a traitor toto betray one's country
- to hand over or expose (one's nation, friend, etc) treacherously to an enemy
- to disclose (a secret, confidence, etc) treacherously
- to break (a promise) or be disloyal to (a person's trust)
- to disappoint the expectations of; failhis tired legs betrayed him
- to show signs of; indicateif one taps china, the sound betrays any faults
- to reveal unintentionallyhis grin betrayed his satisfaction
- betray oneself to reveal one's true character, intentions, etc
- to lead astray; deceive
- euphemistic to seduce and then forsake (a woman)
Word Origin and History for betray
late 13c., bitrayen "mislead, deceive, betray," from be- + obsolete Middle English tray, from Old French traine "betrayal, deception, deceit," from trair (Modern French trahir) "betray, deceive," from Latin tradere "hand over," from trans- "across" (see trans-) + dare "to give" (see date (n.1)). Related: Betrayed; betraying.