When you betray someone or something, you provide information whether you mean to do it or not, like the loud growling of your stomach that betrays your hunger or the secret you tell about your friend that betrays her trust.

When you betray someone or something, you reveal something, like a secret or your true feelings. You may betray your impatience, for example, if you sit at your desk tapping your fingers. There is another meaning of betray that is just the opposite: lie. You betray your friend if you pretend that something is true just to trick him into doing what you want. In this case, betray means the same thing as deceive.

Definitions of betray

v deliver to an enemy by treachery

“The spy betrayed his country”
give up for a price or reward
double cross
betray by double-dealing
Type of:
cozen, deceive, delude, lead on
be false to; be dishonest with

v disappoint, prove undependable to; abandon, forsake

Type of:
disappoint, let down
fail to meet the hopes or expectations of

v cause someone to believe an untruth

deceive, lead astray
free from deception or illusion
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impersonate, personate, pose
pretend to be someone you are not; sometimes with fraudulent intentions
bamboozle, hoodwink, lead by the nose, play false, pull the wool over someone's eyes, snow
conceal one's true motives from especially by elaborately feigning good intentions so as to gain an end
befool, cod, dupe, fool, gull, put on, put one across, put one over, slang, take in
fool or hoax
pretend to be someone or something that you are not
kid, pull the leg of
tell false information to for fun
Type of:
misinform, mislead
give false or misleading information to

v give away information about somebody

denounce, give away, grass, rat, shop, snitch, stag, tell on
sell out
give information that compromises others
Type of:
impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to

v reveal unintentionally

“Her smile betrayed her true feelings”
Type of:
break, bring out, disclose, discover, divulge, expose, give away, let on, let out, reveal, unwrap
make known to the public information that was previously known only to a few people or that was meant to be kept a secret

v be sexually unfaithful to one's partner in marriage

cheat, cheat on, cuckold, wander
carry on a romantic relationship with two people at the same time
fool around, play around
commit adultery
Type of:
cozen, deceive, delude, lead on
be false to; be dishonest with

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