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Definition betraying someone or something — typically betraying one's own country

(in this context, to betray is to not be loyal—often by helping enemies)
  • He was executed for treason in a time of war.
treason = betraying one's own country
  • Benedict Arnold was not captured after he committed treason.
  • treason = betrayal of one's own country
  • Her behavior was treasonous.
  • (Editor's note:  The suffix "-ous" in treasonous means full of. This is the same pattern you see in words like dangerous, poisonous, and humorous.)
  • He was tried for treason at Richmond but acquitted.
    Edward E. Hale  --  The Man Without a Country
  • treason = betraying his country
  • He has the arrogance of youth; there is no treason in his heart, I know it.
    Orson Scott Card  --  Red Prophet
  • treason = betrayal
  • — Ring the alarum bell:—murder and treason!
    William Shakespeare  --  Macbeth
  • treason = betrayal against the king
  • Let them not live to taste this land's increase That would with treason wound this fair land's peace!
    William Shakespeare  --  The Life and Death of King Richard III
  • The penalty for treason is death.
    Dan Simmons  --  Hyperion
  • Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.
    Alexis de Toqueville  --  Democracy In America, Volume 2
  • As T. S. Eliot has said: "The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason."
    Martin Luther King, Jr.  --  Letter from a Birmingham Jail
  • Hark how the villain would gloze now, after his treasonable abuses!
    William Shakespeare  --  Measure for Measure
  • (Editor's note:  The suffix "-able" means able to be. This is the same pattern you see in words like breakable, understandable, and comfortable.)
  • This was how it would be if there was no treason and if all did what they should.
    Ernest Hemingway  --  For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • "Radames, Radames," the high priest sings urgently and makes it pointedly clear that he is to be charged with the crime of treason.
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
  • For treason against the gods, they will face eternal punishment.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Son of Neptune
  • Nor can we write it off as insanity, which is what the defense counsel did at his trial for treason (he was charged with broadcasting for the enemy).
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • Nothing is criminal; there is no such thing as treason; wherefore, every one thinks himself at liberty to act as he pleases.
    Thomas Paine  --  Common Sense
  • "Twice, after being asked serious questions about whether he's committed treason, he's going to smirk.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Blink
  • "You wouldn't find the Brigade of Guards coming over all treasonable like this, my word, no!"
    Terry Pratchett  --  Nation
  • (Editor's note:  The suffix "-able" means able to be. This is the same pattern you see in words like breakable, understandable, and comfortable.)
  • Like Old King Celon when he thought his regent was going to expose him for treason.
    Patrick Rothfuss  --  The Name of the Wind
  • That's treason!" gasped an elderly woman who taught in the Languages department.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Second Siege

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