betray - definition and synonyms

verb [transitive] 

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present tense
present participlebetraying
past tensebetrayed
past participlebetrayed
  1. 1
    if you betray your country, or if you betray someone who needs your support, you deliberately do something that harms them or helps their opponents

    She realized that one of her friends must have betrayed her.

    1. a.
      if you betray someone’s trust, you do harm to them when they have trusted you

      They felt their assistant had betrayed their trust in publishing his diaries.

  2. 2
    if you betray your beliefs or principles, you do something that does not agree with them

    She had betrayed all her beliefs and told a lie.

  3. 3
    to show something or give a sign of something

    Rabbits betray their presence with fresh soil outside their burrow.

    1. a.
      if you betray a feeling or quality that you want to hide or that you are not aware of, your words or face make it clear to people

      His comments betray a lack of understanding.

    2. b.
      if you betray a secret, you tell it to people who do not have the right to know it

derived word


noun [countable]