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Webster 1913 Edition


Betray

Be-tray′

(bē̍-trā′)
,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Betrayed
(-trād′)
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Betraying
.]
[OE.
betraien
,
bitraien
; pref.
be-
+ OF.
traïr
to betray, F.
trahir
, fr. L.
tradere
. See
Traitor
.]
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
.
Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be
betrayed
into the hands of men.
Matt. xvii. 22.
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
.
But when I rise, I shall find my legs
betraying
me.
Johnson.
3.
To violate the confidence of, by disclosing a secret, or that which one is bound in honor not to make known.
Willing to serve or
betray
any government for hire.
Macaulay.
4.
To disclose or discover, as something which prudence would conceal; to reveal unintentionally.
Be swift to hear, but cautious of your tongue, lest you
betray
your ignorance.
T. Watts.
5.
To mislead; to expose to inconvenience not foreseen to lead into error or sin.
Genius . . . often
betrays
itself into great errors.
T. Watts.
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.
All the names in the country
betray
great antiquity.
Bryant.

Webster 1828 Edition


Betray

BETRA'Y

,
Verb.
T.
[L.traho.]
1.
To deliver into the hands of an enemy by treachery or fraud, in violation of trust; as, an officer betrayed the city.
The son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men. Matt.17.
2.
To violate by fraud, or unfaithfulness; as, to betray a trust.
If the people of America ever betray their trust, their guilt will merit even greater punishment than other nations have suffered, and the indignation of heaven.
3.
To violate confidence by disclosing a secret, or that which was intrusted; to expose; followed by the person, or the thing; as, my friend betrayed me, or betrayed the secret.
4.
To disclose, or permit to appear, what is intended to be kept secret, or what prudence would conceal.
Be swift to hear, but cautions of your tongue, lest you betray your ignorance.
Hence,
5.
To mislead or expose to inconvenience not foreseen; as, great confidence betrays a man into errors.
6.
To show; to discover; to indicate what is not obvious at first view, or would otherwise be concealed.
Nor, after length of years, a stone betray
The place where once the very ruins lay.
This river betrays its original in its name.
All the names in the country betray great antiquity.
7.
To fail, or deceive.
But when I rise, I shall find my legs betraying me.

Definition 2022


betray

betray

English

Verb

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
    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
    to betray a person or a cause
    Quresh betrayed Sunil to marry Nuzhat.
    My eyes have been betraying since I turned sixty.
  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, for example something which prudence would conceal; to reveal unintentionally
    • 2012 May 24, Nathan Rabin, “Film: Reviews: Men In Black 3”, in The Onion AV Club:
      Jones’ sad eyes betray a pervasive pain his purposefully spare dialogue only hints at, while the perfectly cast Brolin conveys hints of playfulness and warmth while staying true to the craggy stoicism at the character’s core.
    • 1966, Marc Léopold Benjamin Bloch, French rural history:
      Again, to take a less extreme example, there is no denying that although the dialects of northern France retained their fundamentally Romance character, they betray many Germanic influences in phonetics and vocabulary, [...]
  5. To mislead; to expose to inconvenience not foreseen to lead into error or sin.
  6. To lead astray; to seduce (as under promise of marriage) and then abandon.
  7. To show or to indicate something not obvious at first, or would otherwise be concealed.


Derived terms

Synonyms

  • (to prove faithless or treacherous): sell

Translations

External links

  • betray in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • betray in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911