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Middle English, from Anglo-Norman desleal, desloial


  • (UK) IPA(key): [dɪsˈlɔɪ(j)əɫ]
  • (file)


disloyal (comparative more disloyal, superlative most disloyal)

  1. Not loyal, without loyalty.
    • 1536, Anne Boleyn, letter addressed to Henry VIII from the Tower of London, cited in Edward Herbert, The Life and Raigne of King Henry VIII, London: Thomas Whitaker, 1649, p. 383,[1]
      Good your Grace, let not any light fancy, or bad Counsel of mine enemies withdraw your Princely favour from me; neither let that stain, that unworthy stain of a disloyall heart towards your good Grace, ever cast so foul a blot on your most dutifull Wife, and the Infant Princesse your daughter []
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene ii]:
      [] Norway himself,
      With terrible numbers,
      Assisted by that most disloyal traitor
      The thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict;
    • 1923, Willa Cather, One of Ours, Book One, Chapter 15,[2]
      He told his mother he was glad to be back again. He sometimes felt as if it were disloyal to her for him to be so happy with Mrs. Erlich.
    • 1998, William Maynard Hutchins (translator), “My Donkey and Hypocrisy” by Tawfiq al-Hakim, in In the Tavern of Life and Other Stories, Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, p. 65,[3]
      Embarrassed about leaving him, I asked him to accompany me. It would have been disloyal to let him broil in the heat of Cairo, while I went off to a summer resort.


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