English

Definition of betray verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    betray

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//bɪˈtreɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//bɪˈtreɪ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they betray
    BrE BrE//bɪˈtreɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//bɪˈtreɪ//
     
    he / she / it betrays
    BrE BrE//bɪˈtreɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//bɪˈtreɪz//
     
    past simple betrayed
    BrE BrE//bɪˈtreɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//bɪˈtreɪd//
     
    past participle betrayed
    BrE BrE//bɪˈtreɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//bɪˈtreɪd//
     
    -ing form betraying
    BrE BrE//bɪˈtreɪɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//bɪˈtreɪɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1to give information about somebody/something to an enemy betray somebody/something He was offered money to betray his colleagues. betray somebody/something to somebody For years they had been betraying state secrets to Russia.
  2. 2betray somebody/something to hurt somebody who trusts you, especially by not being loyal or faithful to them She felt betrayed when she found out the truth about him. She betrayed his trust over and over again. I have never known her to betray a confidence (= tell other people something that should be kept secret). Synonymscheatfool deceive betray take in trick conThese words all mean to make somebody believe something that is not true, especially in order to get what you want.cheat to make somebody believe something that is not true, in order to get money or something else from them:She is accused of attempting to cheat the taxman. He cheated his way into the job. Cheat also means to act in a dishonest way in order to gain an advantage, especially in a game, competition or exam:You’re not allowed to look at the answers— that’s cheating.fool to make somebody believe something that is not true, especially in order to laugh at them or to get what you want:Just don’t be fooled into investing any money with them.deceive to make somebody believe something that is not true, especially somebody who trusts you, in order to get what you want:She deceived him into handing over all his savings.betray to hurt somebody who trusts you, especially by deceiving them or not being loyal to them:She felt betrayed when she found out the truth about him.take somebody in [often passive] to deceive somebody, usually in order to get what you want:I was taken in by her story.trick to deceive somebody, especially in a clever way, in order to get what you want.con (informal) to deceive somebody, especially in order to get money from them or get them to do something for you:They had been conned out of £100 000.which word? Many of these words involve making somebody believe something that is not true, but some of them are more disapproving than others. Deceive is probably the worst because people typically deceive friends, relations and others who know and trust them. People may feel cheated/​betrayed by somebody in authority who they trusted to look after their interests. If somebody takes you in, they may do it by acting a part and using words and charm effectively. If somebody cheats/​fools/​tricks/​cons you, they may get something from you and make you feel stupid. However, somebody might fool you just as a joke; and to trick somebody is sometimes seen as a clever thing to do, if the person being tricked is seen as a bad person who deserves it.Patterns to cheat/​fool/​trick/​con somebody out of something to cheat/​fool/​deceive/​betray/​trick/​con somebody into doing something to feel cheated/​fooled/​deceived/​betrayed/​tricked/​conned to fool/​deceive yourself to cheat/​trick/​con your way into something
  3. 3betray something to ignore your principles or beliefs in order to achieve something or gain an advantage for yourself He has been accused of betraying his former socialist ideals.
  4. 4to tell somebody or make them aware of a piece of information, a feeling, etc., usually without meaning to synonym give away betray something His voice betrayed the worry he was trying to hide. betray yourself She was terrified of saying something that would make her betray herself (= show her feelings or who she was).
  5. Word Origin Middle English: from be- ‘thoroughly’ + obsolete tray ‘betray’, from Old French trair, based on Latin tradere ‘hand over’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: betray