verb (used with object)
- to deliver or expose to an enemy by treachery or disloyalty: Benedict Arnold betrayed his country.
- to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling: to betray a trust.
- to disappoint the hopes or expectations of; be disloyal to: to betray one’s friends.
- to reveal or disclose in violation of confidence: to betray a secret.
- to reveal unconsciously (something one would preferably conceal): Her nervousness betrays her insecurity.
- to show or exhibit; reveal; disclose: an unfeeling remark that betrays his lack of concern.
- to deceive, misguide, or corrupt: a young lawyer betrayed by political ambitions into irreparable folly.
- to seduce and desert.
- to aid an enemy of (one’s nation, friend, etc); be a traitor toto betray one’s country
- to hand over or expose (one’s nation, friend, etc) treacherously to an enemy
- to disclose (a secret, confidence, etc) treacherously
- to break (a promise) or be disloyal to (a person’s trust)
- to disappoint the expectations of; failhis tired legs betrayed him
- to show signs of; indicateif one taps china, the sound betrays any faults
- to reveal unintentionallyhis grin betrayed his satisfaction
- betray oneself to reveal one’s true character, intentions, etc
- to lead astray; deceive
- euphemistic to seduce and then forsake (a woman)
1520s, agent noun from betray (v.).
late 13c., bitrayen “mislead, deceive, betray,” from be- + obsolete Middle English tray, from Old French traine “betrayal, deception, deceit,” from trair (Modern French trahir) “betray, deceive,” from Latin tradere “hand over,” from trans- “across” (see trans-) + dare “to give” (see date (n.1)). Related: Betrayed; betraying.