Meaning of betrayal


Betrayal means “an act of deliberate disloyalty,” like when your friend told other people all your secrets. What a betrayal!

Betrayal‘s root is betray, which comes from the Middle English word bitrayen — meaning “mislead, deceive.” Betrayal has to do with destroying someone’s trust, possibly by lying. If you start dating your best friend’s girlfriend behind his back, that’s an act of betrayal. Betrayal can also mean “helping an enemy,” such as a person who gives secret information to a country that is at war with his or her own.

Definitions of betrayal
  1. noun

    the quality of aiding an enemy

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    type of:

    subversiveness, traitorousness, treason

    disloyalty by virtue of subversive behavior

  2. noun

    an act of deliberate betrayal


    perfidy, treachery, treason

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    double cross, double-crossing

    an act of betrayal

    an act of betrayal
    type of:

    dishonesty, knavery

    lack of honesty; acts of lying or cheating or stealing

Word Family

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