Definition of betray in English:


Line breaks: be¦tray
Pronunciation: /bɪˈtreɪ


[with object]
  • 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.



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.
traitor, back-stabber, Judas, double-crosser; renegade, quisling, fifth columnist, double agent, collaborator, informer, mole, stool pigeon; turncoat, defector, apostate, deserter; fraternizer, colluder, false friend
informal snake in the grass, whistle-blower, grass, supergrass, rat, scab, stoolie, nose
British informal nark
North American informal fink
rare traditor, renegado


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

More definitions of betray

Definition of betray in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day milord
Pronunciation: mɪˈlɔːd
used to address an English nobleman