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Betray (third-person singular simple present Betrays, present participle Betraying, simple past and past participle Betrayed)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. To violate the confidence of, by disclosing a secret, or that which one is bound in honor not to make known.
  4. To disclose or discover, as something which prudence would conceal; to reveal unintentionally.
  5. To mislead; to expose to inconvenience not foreseen to lead into error or sin.
  6. To lead astray, as a maiden; to seduce (as under promise of marriage) and then abandon.
  7. To show or to indicate; -- said of what is not obvious at first, or would otherwise be concealed.

Adverbs for Betray

grossly; deliberately; hideously; vilely; viciously; virtually; infrequently; treacherously; incautiously; bluntly; subtly; heartlessly; venomously; emotionally; mentally.


debauch, deceive, defect, defile, deflower, delude, demonstrate, desert, despoil, diddle, disclose, discover, divulge, double-cross, dupe, ensnare, entrap, evidence, evince, expose, fail, fink, fool, force, forestall, gammon, get around, give away, gull, hoax, hocus-pocus, hoodwink, hornswaggle, humbug, impart, indicate, inform, inform against, inform on, juggle, lay bare, lead astray, leak, let down, let drop, let fall, let slip, manifest, misguide, mislead, mock, narc, outmaneuver, outreach, outsmart, outwit, overreach, peach, pigeon, play one false, pull out, put something over, rape, rat, ravage, ravish, renegade, reveal, reveal a secret, ruin, run out on, secede, seduce, sell, sell out, shop, show, sing, snare, snitch, snitch on, snow, soil, spill, spill the beans, split, squeal, stool, string along, sully, take in, talk, tattle, tattle on, tell, tell on, tell secrets, tell tales, testify against, trap, trick, turn in, turn informer, two-time, uncover, unveil, violate, abuse, apostatize, babble, bamboozle, be indiscreet, be unguarded, bear witness against, beguile, betoken, betray a confidence, blab, blabber, blow the whistle, bluff, blurt, blurt out, bolt, break away, break faith, cajole, cheat on, circumvent, collaborate, conjure, cross,


From Middle English betrayen (to betray, expose), alteration of earlier bewrayen (to betray, reveal, disclose), from be- + wrayen (to betray, reveal, divulge), 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). Alteration influenced by Middle English traien, traissen (to hand over, be disloyal to, commit treason, betray), from Old French traïr (to commit treason, betray), from Latin trādere, present active infinitive of trādō (deliver, give over, v). See traitor, treason, tradition. Cognate with Old Frisian biwrōgja (to disclose, reveal), Old High German biruogen (to disclose, reveal), Modern German berügen (to defraud), Swedish röja (to betray). More at wray, bewray.

Derived terms