verb (used with object)

Origin of betray

1200–50; Middle English bitraien, equivalent to bi- be- + traien < Old French trair < Latin trādere to betray. See traitor
Related formsbe·tray·al, nounbe·tray·er, nounpre·be·tray, verb (used with object)pre·be·tray·al, nounself-be·tray·al, nounself-be·tray·ing, adjectiveun·be·trayed, adjectiveun·be·tray·ing, adjective

Synonyms for betray

Antonyms for betray

4, 6. hide, conceal. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for betrayal

Contemporary Examples of betrayal

Historical Examples of betrayal

  • There must be women there, and women meant screams, horror, betrayal.

  • And at this time Shakespeare has suffered Herbert's betrayal.

  • This marriage with Peggy, for instance, looks like a betrayal of her.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson

  • "The Night of Betrayal" is presented in the form of a story within a story.

  • If he had betrayed them, yet he had so contrived that they should not suffer by that betrayal.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for betrayal


verb (tr)

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)
Derived Formsbetrayal, nounbetrayer, noun

Word Origin for betray

C13: from be- + trayen from Old French trair, from Latin trādere
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

Word Origin and History for betrayal

1816; from betray + -al (2). Earlier in the same sense were betrayment (1540s), betraying (late 14c.).



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper