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betray (verb) be disloyal and unfaithful; give up principles or ideals; show feelings a person is trying to hide.

Suppose A trusts B, and B disregarding A's trust, causes danger or harm to A, then B betrays A. Sam betrays Joe, if in spite of Joe's trust in Sam, Joe deceives him, or in some other way harms him, or passes on information about Joe to his enemies. Human history is full of examples of persons betraying their close friends, their siblings, or even their spouses. A person by selling or giving away secrets of their country to an enemy country thereby endangering the safety of their country betrays his country. Such a person is a traitor. A person who gives up their ideals or principles purely for selfish reasons betrays their principles. Your expressions, your words may make others know your real feelings. Then they betray your feelings. Your face might sometimes give away your feelings of surprise, disappointment, etc.. Then your face betrays you. If you talk without knowledge of something, your talk betrays your ignorance. A worried face betrays worry.

  • Gerard, out of sheer envy, betrayed his brother Anton to the tax officials by telling them of his hidden income.
  • There are any number of examples of the citizens of one country betraying their country by passing on the secrets of their country to the enemy country. John Filby, a notorious spy, betrayed the US to the USSR, and just about to be arrested, defected to the USSR.
  • Politics is full of opportunists. Not infrequently do politicians betray their own parties by deserting them and joining the opposite parties, for personal gain.
  • His unsteady voice, his sweating, and his nervousness, betrayed his disturbed mind.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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