A quisling is a traitor, especially one who collaborates with an enemy occupying force for personal gain.

The term arose because in World War II, Vidkun Quisling, a Norwegian politician, volunteered to help the occupying Nazis rule Norway for Germany. Quisling was tried for treason and executed at the end of the war, and his name became synonymous with traitor and collaborator. The word quisling is not commonly used in the United States, however, probably because the American term for a traitor is "Benedict Arnold," the name of a Revolutionary War turncoat.

Definitions of quisling
  1. noun
    someone who collaborates with an enemy occupying force
    synonyms: collaborationist, collaborator
    see moresee less
    type of:
    traitor, treasonist
    someone who betrays his country by committing treason
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Commonly confused words

Was a 1970s Dr. Who Fan a "Quisling"?

Writing about the upcoming BBC "The Day of the Doctor" special being released in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the original "Dr. Who," Jill Lepore, of The New Yorker used quisling in a curious way.

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