Definition of betray in English:

betray

Line breaks: be¦tray
Pronunciation: /bɪˈtreɪ
 
/

verb

[with object]
1Expose (one’s country, a group, or a person) to danger by treacherously giving information to an enemy: a double agent who betrayed some 400 British and French agents to the Germans
More example sentences
  • If I decide to hold a double execution of the hero and an underling who failed or betrayed me, I will see to it that the hero is scheduled to go first.
  • Did his god help him when his own nephew betrayed him to our enemies?
  • She was made to feel guilty, as if by divulging the most obvious information, she had betrayed him - infringed on his privacy.
Synonyms
break one's promise to, be disloyal to, be unfaithful to, break faith with, play someone false, fail, let down; double-cross, deceive, cheat; inform on/against, give away, denounce, sell out, stab someone in the back, be a Judas to, give someone a Judas kiss, bite the hand that feeds one; turn traitor, sell the pass; English Lawturn Queen's/King's evidence
informal split on, blow the whistle on, rat on, peach on, stitch up, do the dirty on, sell down the river, squeal on, squeak on
British informal grass on, shop, sneak on
North American informal rat out, drop a/the dime on, finger, job
Australian/New Zealand informal dob on, pimp on, pool, shelf, put someone's pot on, point the bone at
rare delate
1.1Treacherously reveal (information): many of those employed by diplomats betrayed secrets
More example sentences
  • However, sources close to him say they believe the government alleged that he was betraying details of planned NATO airstrikes to the opposition leadership.
  • I trusted Aunt Demeter to look out for my safety, but she betrayed every detail of my running away.
  • Artie promises not to betray certain details only to show us both the promise and betrayal together.
Synonyms
1.2Be gravely disloyal to: the men who have betrayed British people’s trust
More example sentences
  • Anyone who votes for them is betraying the memory of all those who fought and died fighting the Nazis.
  • And of course the second thing he does through this travesty is to minimise the Holocaust itself and the crimes of the actual Nazis. and thus to betray the memory of those who died.
  • But that does not betray my memory of my first husband or my love for him.
2Unintentionally reveal; be evidence of: she drew a deep breath that betrayed her indignation
More example sentences
  • Neyl wriggled out of the window and held on tightly with both hands, his face betraying his shock.
  • Michael's hand fell, his face betrayed the shock he felt.
  • Katherine's face betrayed utter shock, then utter amusement.

Origin

Middle English: from be- 'thoroughly' + obsolete tray 'betray', from Old French trair, based on Latin tradere 'hand over'.

Derivatives

betrayer

noun
More example sentences
  • Therefore, women who do not identify as lesbians, especially women who sometimes have relationships with other women, are branded as traitors, turncoats and betrayers of the greater sisterhood.
  • So now, as Robin points out, us anti-war, would-be dissenters, deserters and betrayers are to be offered a wide-ranging smorgasbord of humanitarian pledges to get us back on the New Labour bus.
  • But once the Turks go in, you can rely on a large movement of the New-Old Iraqi Army up there to fight the Nato-linked, EU-corrupted apostate betrayers of the capital of the Caliphs.
Synonyms

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