Definition of quisling in US English:



  • A traitor who collaborates with an enemy force occupying their country.

    as modifier ‘he had the Quisling owner of the factory arrested’
    • ‘This won't be a quisling government making these choices.’
    • ‘The aim of the conference was to begin consolidating a quisling regime to install after the invasion.’
    • ‘Genuine democratic and social renewal within the Balkans can never take place under the political tutelage of the Western powers and their local quislings.’
    • ‘During the 1976-83 period, operations included the assassination of police informers and perceived quislings, bank robberies and attacks on the security forces and police stations.’
    • ‘As far as I am concerned, he is a pinko, quisling traitor.’
    • ‘Most quislings come from the chattering classes, from academics and intellectuals.’
    • ‘He's undermined our ability to stand up - we'll just be seen as potential traitors and quislings.’
    • ‘His government was replaced by one of quislings.’
    • ‘But so far the guerilla resistance has eschewed such random violence that hit civilians and instead has concentrated its attacks on U.S. troops and those it considers quislings.’
    • ‘If things were going really badly, and we had a quisling Government in this country - what would he have done?’
    • ‘They think of him as a quisling, a nuisance and a dangerous acquaintance.’
    • ‘By which we ought to mean, the country will be in the hands of a puppet government, a government of quislings and collaborators, a government of pullovers and pushovers.’
    • ‘He taught me about the Battle of the Boyne and Cromwell's massacres, about quislings and Black-and-Tans.’
    • ‘Then, as now, the occupiers say they were invited to stay by the very quislings they installed.’
    • ‘Unlike Vietnam, we are backing strong, independent leaders, rather than quislings and puppets whose power base rests with our military forces and economic support.’
    • ‘Those entrenched enough to deride as fools or quislings anyone who questions war may also be more prone to edit events to fit their version.’
    • ‘They combined military threats and punishing sanctions to destabilise Yugoslavia with the creation of a quisling pro-Western opposition movement they have funded to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.’
    collaborator, fraternizer, colluder, sympathizer
    View synonyms


Second World War: from the name of Major Vidkun Quisling (1887–1945), the Norwegian army officer and diplomat who ruled Norway on behalf of the German occupying forces (1940–45).