- traitour (obsolete)
From Middle English traitor, traitour, traytour, from Old French traïtor (French traître), from Latin trāditor. Displaced native Middle English swike from Old English swica (“traitor”), and Middle English proditour and traditour borrowed directly from Latin. The general Old English word denoting "traitor" was lǣwa or lǣwend.
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtɹeɪtə(ɹ)/
- (US) enPR: trā′tər, IPA(key): /ˈtɹeɪtɚ/, [ˈtʰɹeɪɾɚ]
- Homophone: trader (in dialects with flapping)
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -eɪtə(ɹ)
traitor (plural traitors)
- Someone who violates an allegiance and betrays their country; someone guilty of treason; one who, in breach of trust, delivers their country to an enemy, or yields up any fort or place entrusted to their defense, or surrenders an army or body of troops to the enemy, unless when vanquished.
- 1595 December 9 (first known performance), [William Shakespeare], The Tragedie of King Richard the Second. […] (First Quarto), London: […] Valentine Simmes for Androw Wise, […], published 1597, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene i]:
- My Lord of Hereford here whom you call King, / Is a foule traitour to proud Herefords King, / And if you crowne him let me propheſie, / The bloud of Engliſh ſhall manure the ground, / And future ages groane for this foule act, [...]
- 2017 October 8, “Confederacy”, in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, season 4, episode 26, HBO, 14:45 from the start:
- Yes, that was Vice President Spiro Agnew commemorating the "loyalty" of literal traitors. But what can you really expect from a man whose name rearranged spells "grow a penis."
- Someone who takes arms and levies war against their country; or one who aids an enemy in conquering their country.
- (by extension) One who betrays any confidence or trust.
- 2021, Olivia Rodrigo and Dan Nigro (lyrics and music), “Traitor”, in Sour, performed by Olivia Rodrigo:
- It took you two weeks
To go off and date her
Guess you didn't cheat
But you're still, you're still a traitor
Yeah, you're still a traitor
- (all senses): Benedict Arnold (US), Quisling, Judas
- (one who betrays a trust): betrayer, fink, snake, snake in the grass
- race traitor; see also Thesaurus:informant
traitor (third-person singular simple present traitors, present participle traitoring, simple past and past participle traitored)
traitor (comparative more traitor, superlative most traitor)
- 1735, Alexander Pope, “The Second Satire of Dr. John Donne”, in The Works of Mr. Alexander Pope, volume II, London: […] J. Wright, for Lawton Gilliver […], →OCLC:
- to find a subject staid and wise
Already half turn'd traitor by surprise
Adaptation of Latin trāditor, trāditorem.
traitor m (oblique plural traitors, nominative singular traitre, nominative plural traitor)
- circa 1180, Chrétien de Troyes, Lancelot ou le Chevalier de la charrette:
- Ne croire pas ce traïtor.
- Do not believe this traitor.
- French: traître
- Norman: traître (Jersey)
- Walloon: traite
- → Middle English: traytour, traitour, traitor
From Latin trāditor, trāditorem.
traitor m (oblique plural traitors, nominative singular traitors, nominative plural traitor)
- Walther von Wartburg (1928–2002), “traditor”, in Französisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch (in German), volume 13: To–Tyrus, pages 152–153
- English terms inherited from Middle English
- English terms derived from Middle English
- English terms derived from Old French
- English terms derived from Latin
- English 2-syllable words
- English terms with IPA pronunciation
- English terms with audio links
- Rhymes:English/eɪtə(ɹ)/2 syllables
- English lemmas
- English nouns
- English countable nouns
- English terms with quotations
- English verbs
- English adjectives
- English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *deh₃-
- Old French terms derived from Latin
- Old French lemmas
- Old French nouns
- Old French masculine nouns
- Old French terms with quotations
- Old French irregular nouns
- Old Occitan terms derived from Latin
- Old Occitan lemmas
- Old Occitan nouns
- Old Occitan masculine nouns