Definition of treason in English:

treason

noun

  • 1The crime of betraying one's country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government.

    ‘they were convicted of treason’
    • ‘Equally ominous is the extension of the definition of treason, regarded as one of the most serious political crimes of all.’
    • ‘Once labelled a terrorist, he was convicted of treason and jailed for 27 years.’
    • ‘Franco eliminated universal suffrage and viewed any criticism of the regime as treason.’
    • ‘She had no idea what she'd done to be charged with a serious crime like treason.’
    • ‘He said that his lawyer advised him to leave Kenya as it was rumoured that he would soon be charged with sedition and treason.’
    • ‘It is absolutely out of order to suggest that an honourable member of this House is committing treason.’
    • ‘Everyone knows that murder and manslaughter, kidnapping and terrorism, treason and high treason existed long before today's penal codes.’
    • ‘Following the overthrow of the Raterepublik, he was indicted for high treason but was subsequently acquitted of all charges.’
    • ‘To resist the will of the sovereign was treason, and to avoid exile, or even the block, it was necessary to tread carefully.’
    • ‘In some other countries that would be called treason or treachery.’
    • ‘Prosecutors are demanding life sentences for five suspected militants charged with a crime similar to treason.’
    • ‘The charges include treason, conspiracy to commit treason and being accessories to treason.’
    • ‘The erstwhile British colonial rulers used the fort to try the freedom fighters after convicting them of treason.’
    • ‘In times of wars the church stood at the forefront of sedition and treason, unless it saw some advantage for itself.’
    • ‘Sacrificing you, or simply having you killed for treason, would have only led to more conflict.’
    • ‘It is the goal of all agents to bravely expose treason and hidden crimes in order to safeguard national security.’
    • ‘Military officials initially told the press that he might face charges of espionage and sedition, even treason.’
    • ‘The security laws ban treason, sedition, subversion and the theft of state secrets.’
    • ‘Radical leaders were arrested on charges of high treason after they held a national convention.’
    • ‘Duress has been recognised as a general defence to all crimes except treason and murder.’
    treachery, lese-majesty
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The action of betraying someone or something.
      ‘doubt is the ultimate treason against faith’
      • ‘African-Americans, it is cynically assumed, will remain loyal to the Democrats regardless of the treasons committed against them.’
      • ‘God defend your Church from the treasons of men.’
      • ‘‘The man that hath no music in himself’ (says the Bard), ‘is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils… Let no such man be trusted.’’
      • ‘Our ways of saying ‘I’ and ‘me’ and ‘my’ express our ultimate treasons and devotions.’
      treachery, lese-majesty
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2historical The crime of murdering someone to whom the murderer owed allegiance, such as a master or husband.
      • ‘Perhaps as a consequence, the year 1352 saw the introduction of the Statute of Treasons defining great treason against the king and petty treason against local lords.’
      • ‘A wife who killed her husband did not commit murder - she committed the far worse crime of petty treason.’
      • ‘Ms Pritchard, my recollection is that a woman charged with murdering her husband, at one stage of the common law, was charged with petty treason and it was heard by a jury of 24.’
      • ‘One newspaper said he looked like a horrid wretch, ‘fit evidently for petty treason.’’

Usage

Formerly, there were two types of crime to which the term treason was applied: petty treason (the crime of murdering one's master) and high treason (the crime of betraying one's country). As a classification of offense, the crime of petty treason was abolished in 1828. In modern use, the term high treason is now often simply called treason

Origin

Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French treisoun, from Latin traditio(n-) ‘handing over’, from the verb tradere.

Pronunciation

treason

/ˈtrēzən//ˈtrizən/