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[trey-ter] /ˈtreɪ tər/
a person who betrays another, a cause, or any trust.
a person who commits treason by betraying his or her country.
1175-1225; Middle English < Old French < Latin trāditōr-, stem of trāditor betrayer. See traditor
Related forms
traitorship, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for traitors
  • They were civic-minded enough to be offended and depressed about being called traitors.
  • And some few others who were rather active traitors.
  • If they are trying to uncover the traitors in their own ranks who may have squealed on them, well, that's their business.
  • The triple disaster has also split apart once closeknit communities-some who stay consider those who leave to be traitors.
  • He accuses individuals of being traitors to their own vocation.
  • They are outright traitors themselves or apologists for treasonous behavior.
  • What makes it such a pesky task exposing and uprooting the traitors within is how popular so many of those turncoats are.
  • They may have been naive, but they were neither cowards nor traitors.
  • They are prettily described, in allusion to the perpetual cares and trepidations of traitors, as old and white from their birth.
  • The barbarous punishment devised for traitors was commuted by the king to beheading.
British Dictionary definitions for traitors


a person who is guilty of treason or treachery, in betraying friends, country, a cause or trust, etc
Derived Forms
traitorous, adjective
traitorously, adverb
traitorship, noun
traitress, noun:feminine
Word Origin
C13: from Old French traitour, from Latin trāditortraditor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for traitors



c.1200, from Old French traitor (11c.), from Latin traditorem (nominative traditor) "betrayer," literally "one who delivers," from stem of tradere "deliver, surrender" (see tradition). Originally usually with a suggestion of Judas Iscariot.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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