Definition of treason in English:

treason

Syllabification: trea·son
Pronunciation: /ˈtrēzən
 
/

noun

(also high treason)
  • 1The crime of betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government: they were convicted of treason
    More example sentences
    • The security laws ban treason, sedition, subversion and the theft of state secrets.
    • Military officials initially told the press that he might face charges of espionage and sedition, even treason.
    • He said that his lawyer advised him to leave Kenya as it was rumoured that he would soon be charged with sedition and treason.
  • 1.1The action of betraying someone or something: doubt is the ultimate treason against faith
    More example sentences
    • Our ways of saying ‘I’ and ‘me’ and ‘my’ express our ultimate treasons and devotions.
    • God defend your Church from the treasons of men.
    • African-Americans, it is cynically assumed, will remain loyal to the Democrats regardless of the treasons committed against them.
  • 1.2 (petty treason) historical The crime of murdering someone to whom the murderer owed allegiance, such as a master or husband.
    More example sentences
    • A wife who killed her husband did not commit murder - she committed the far worse crime of petty treason.
    • Ms Pritchard, my recollection is that a woman charged with murdering her husband, at one stage of the common law, was charged with petty treason and it was heard by a jury of 24.
    • One newspaper said he looked like a horrid wretch, ‘fit evidently for petty treason.’

Derivatives

treasonous

Pronunciation: /ˈtrēzənəs/
adjective
More example sentences
  • Outright opposition is treasonous.
  • They had their search radars on, and it was time to light up these treasonous traitors.
  • It is treasonous for Americans and it is disloyal for world leaders.

Origin

Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French treisoun, from Latin traditio(n-) 'handing over', from the verb tradere.

Usage

Formerly, there were two types of crime to which the term treason was applied: petty treason (the crime of murdering one’s master) and high treason (the crime of betraying one’s country). As a classification of offense, the crime of petty treason was abolished in 1828. In modern use, the term high treason is now often simply called treason.

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