Definitions

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

  • noun The betrayal of allegiance toward one's own country, especially by committing hostile acts against it or aiding its enemies in committing such acts.
  • noun The betrayal of someone's trust or confidence.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A betraying; treachery; breach of faith.
  • noun Specifically—2. Violation by a subject of his allegiance to his sovereign or liege lord, or to the chief authority of the state.
  • noun Synonyms See perfidious.

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

  • noun The offense of attempting to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance, or of betraying the state into the hands of a foreign power; disloyalty; treachery.
  • noun Loosely, the betrayal of any trust or confidence; treachery; perfidy.
  • noun See under Petit.

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

  • noun The crime of betraying one’s own country.
  • noun Providing aid and comfort to the enemy.

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

  • noun a crime that undermines the offender's government
  • noun disloyalty by virtue of subversive behavior
  • noun an act of deliberate betrayal

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Anglo-Norman treson, from Latin trāditiō, trāditiōn-, a handing over; see tradition.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English tresoun, treison, from Anglo-Norman treson, from Old French traïson ("treason"), from Latin trāditiōnem, accusative of trāditiō ("a giving up, handing over, surrender, delivery, tradition"), from trādō ("give up, hand over, deliver over, betray", v), from trāns (“over, across”) +‎  (“give”).

Examples

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