treason

Definitions

General English

  • noun the crime of betraying your country, by giving your country’s secrets to the enemy or by helping the enemy during wartime

Law

  • noun a notifiable offence of betraying one’s country, usually by helping the enemy in time of war

Military

  • noun an act which threatens the interests or security of your own state

Politics

  • noun the crime of betraying one’s country, usually by helping the enemy in time of war

Origin & History of “treason”

Treason and tradition are doublets – they have a common source. this was Latin trāditiō, a derivative of trādere ‘hand over, deliver’ (source also of English traitor). The notion of ‘handing something on to someone else’ lies behind tradition, but treason (acquired via Anglo-Norman treisoun) gets its meaning from the metaphorically extended Latin sense ‘hand over treacherously, betray’.
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