Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. Archaic To disclose or betray.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To expose a deception.
  • v. To accuse; malign; speak evil of.
  • v. To reveal; divulge; make known; declare; inform.
  • v. To expose a person, rat someone out.
  • v. To divulge a secret.
  • v. To disclose or reveal (usually with reference to a person's identity or true character) perfidiously, prejudicially, or to one's discredit or harm; betray; expose.
  • v. To reveal or disclose unintentionally or incidentally; show the presence or true character of; show or make visible.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To soil. See beray.
  • transitive v. To expose; to reveal; to disclose; to betray.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To accuse; malign.
  • To reveal; divulge; make known; declare.
  • To disclose or reveal (the identity or the secrets of a person) perfidiously or prejudicially; betray; expose.
  • To reveal or disclose unintentionally or incidentally; show the presence or true character of; show or make visible.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. reveal unintentionally

Etymologies

Middle English biwreien : bi-, be- + wreien, to accuse (from Old English wrēgan).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English bewraien, bewreyen, equivalent to be- +‎ wray, from Old English wrēġan ("to accuse, impeach"), from Proto-Germanic *wrōgijanan, *wrōhijanan (“to tell, speak, shout”), from Proto-Indo-European *were-, *wrē- (“to tell, speak”). Cognate with Old Frisian biwrōgja ("to disclose, reveal"), Old High German biruogen ("to disclose, reveal"), Modern German berügen ("to defraud"), Swedish röja ("to betray"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "VOLUMNIA: Should we be silent and not speak, our raiment
    And state of bodies would bewray what life
    We have led since thy exile."
    - William Shakespeare, 'The Tragedy of Coriolanus'.

    August 29, 2009