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Origin of traitor

1175–1225; Middle English < Old French < Latin trāditōr-, stem of trāditor betrayer. See traditor
Related formstrai·tor·ship, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for traitor

Contemporary Examples of traitor

Historical Examples of traitor

  • "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

  • The governor, a coward or a traitor, rendered thee to the rebellious crowd.

    Leila, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

British Dictionary definitions for traitor


  1. a person who is guilty of treason or treachery, in betraying friends, country, a cause or trust, etc
Derived Formstraitorous, adjectivetraitorously, adverbtraitorship, nountraitress, fem n

Word Origin for traitor

C13: from Old French traitour, from Latin trāditor traditor
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 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