Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To give aid or information to an enemy of; commit treason against.
  • transitive verb To inform upon or deliver into the hands of an enemy in violation of a trust or allegiance.
  • transitive verb To be false or disloyal to.
  • transitive verb To divulge in a breach of confidence.
  • transitive verb To make known unintentionally.
  • transitive verb To lead astray; deceive.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To deliver to, or expose to the power of, an enemy by treachery or disloyalty: as, an officer betrayed the city.
  • To violate by fraud or unfaithfulness; be unfaithful in keeping or upholding: as, to betray a trust.
  • To act treacherously to; be disloyal to; disappoint the hopes or expectations of.
  • To deceive; beguile; mislead; seduce.
  • To reveal or disclose in violation of confidence; make known through breach of faith or obligation: as, to betray a person's secrets or designs.
  • To show in true character; allow to be seen; permit to appear in spite of will or desire.
  • To indicate; give indication or evidence of: said of something not obvious at first view, or that would otherwise be concealed.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To deliver into the hands of an enemy by treachery or fraud, in violation of trust; to give up treacherously or faithlessly.
  • transitive verb To prove faithless or treacherous to, as to a trust or one who trusts; to be false to; to deceive.
  • transitive verb To violate the confidence of, by disclosing a secret, or that which one is bound in honor not to make known.
  • transitive verb To disclose or discover, as something which prudence would conceal; to reveal unintentionally.
  • transitive verb To mislead; to expose to inconvenience not foreseen to lead into error or sin.
  • transitive verb To lead astray, as a maiden; to seduce (as under promise of marriage) and then abandon.
  • transitive verb To show or to indicate; -- said of what is not obvious at first, or would otherwise be concealed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To deliver into the hands of an enemy by treachery or fraud, in violation of trust; to give up treacherously or faithlessly; as, an officer betrayed the city.
  • verb To prove faithless or treacherous to, as to a trust or one who trusts; to be false to; to deceive; as, to betray a person or a cause.
  • verb To violate the confidence of, by disclosing a secret, or that which one is bound in honor not to make known.
  • verb To disclose or discover, as something which prudence would conceal; to reveal unintentionally; to bewray.
  • verb To mislead; to expose to inconvenience not foreseen to lead into error or sin.
  • verb To lead astray, as a maiden; to seduce (as under promise of marriage) and then abandon.
  • verb To show or to indicate; -- said of what is not obvious at first, or would otherwise be concealed.

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

  • verb reveal unintentionally
  • verb give away information about somebody
  • verb be sexually unfaithful to one's partner in marriage
  • verb deliver to an enemy by treachery
  • verb disappoint, prove undependable to; abandon, forsake
  • verb cause someone to believe an untruth

Etymologies

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

[Middle English bitrayen : bi-, be- + trayen, to betray (from Old French trair, from Latin trādere, to hand over; see tradition).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English betrayen, betraien, equivalent to be- +‎ tray (“to betray”), from Old French traïr ("to commit treason, betray"), from Latin trādere, present active infinitive of trādō ("deliver, give over", v). In some senses, merged with or influenced by Middle English bewraien, bewreyen ("to reveal, divulge"), see bewray. Compare also traitor, treason, tradition.

Examples

  • What it again seems to betray is the notion that fiction is much like film, only a little bit different, affording the opportunity to make explicit what in LaBute's films is implicit.

    Realism in Fiction

  • The specific language of the ad uses the word betray, rather than traitor.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » The Reaction to the MoveOn.Org “General Betray Us” Ad:

  • She didn't look as nervous as he felt, nor did her expression betray what she was thinking as she approached him.

    Message in a Bottle

  • The reasons lie deep in our compound nature, being probably inarticulate; and our action in a fragmentary way betrays our moral disposition: betrays it in both senses of the word betray, now revealing it unawares, and now sadly disappointing it.

    Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy Five Essays

  • Whatever the case, using "betray" -- a word associated with treason -- recalls the ugly McCarthy era, when for too many Republicans dissent corresponded with disloyalty.

    Richard Cohen Brings On the Stupid

  • Whatever the case, using "betray" -- a word associated with treason -- recalls the ugly McCarthy era, when for too many Republicans dissent corresponded with disloyalty.

    Richard Cohen Brings On the Stupid

  • And before his expression could betray him, he slipped out the door and back to the first-year corridor.

    KNIGHTLEY ACADEMY

  • And before his expression could betray him, he slipped out the door and back to the first-year corridor.

    KNIGHTLEY ACADEMY

  • Even when John Leguizamo and Boring Whatsisname betray each other, it's with a manly hug.

    Kenneth Hite's Journal

  • His flat options for a title further betray his depression: he toyed with “Imitating the Equator,” “Another Innocent Abroad,” “The Latest,” and “The Surviving Innocent Abroad”; not until July did he decide on Following the Equator and its faintly redundant subtitle, A Journey Around the World.

    Mark Twain

Comments

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  • hintergehen= betray a friend when you tell a secret

    May 27, 2009