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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
commit treason (=the crime of being disloyal to your country)
▪ He was accused of committing treason against the King of England.
high treason
▪ Probably to the relief of the nationalists, he stood convicted of high treason at last.
▪ Stone was arrested on a charge of high treason on 3 May 1794 and was taken to the Tower of London.
▪ Pianezza had played a leading part in the disastrous campaign of 1672 and was accused of treason.
▪ He was then accused of treason and eventually beheaded.
▪ He was accused of treason against the nation for his willingness to negotiate with Texas and the United States.
▪ On June 8, 1862, he was arrested and charged with treason.
▪ How do we know Buckingham committed treason?
▪ William Joyce had been convicted of treason on the grand scale.
▪ All five of the men will be charged with committing treason against the state.
▪ Fleming was flown to Washington and tried for treason.
▪ Norris was sentenced to 20 years for treason.
▪ He also underwent several periods of defacto house arrest and trial for treason between 1956 and 1961.
▪ He was accused of treason against the nation for his willingness to negotiate with Texas and the United States.
▪ He was now arrested, tried for treason for his support of Jane Grey and condemned to death.
▪ He was then accused of treason and eventually beheaded.
▪ The charges against him included treason.
▪ The Polisario Front on Aug. 13 accused Hakim of treason.
▪ Wolf is being tried by the same court that sentenced him to six years in prison for treason and bribery.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Treason \Trea"son\, n. [OE. tresun, treisun, traisoun, OF. tra["i]son, F. trahison, L. traditio a giving up, a delivering up, fr. tradere to give up, betray. See Traitor, and cf. Tradition.]

  1. The offense of attempting to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance, or of betraying the state into the hands of a foreign power; disloyalty; treachery.

    The treason of the murthering in the bed.

    Note: In monarchies, the killing of the sovereign, or an attempt to take his life, is treason. In England, to imagine or compass the death of the king, or of the queen consort, or of the heir apparent to the crown, is high treason, as are many other offenses created by statute. In the United States, treason is confined to the actual levying of war against the United States, or to an adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.

  2. Loosely, the betrayal of any trust or confidence; treachery; perfidy.

    If he be false, she shall his treason see.

    Petit treason. See under Petit.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1200, "betraying; betrayal of trust; breech of faith," from Anglo-French treson, from Old French traison "treason, treachery" (11c.; Modern French trahison), from Latin traditionem (nominative traditio) "a handing over, delivery, surrender" (see tradition). Old French form influenced by the verb trair "betray." In old English law, high treason is violation by a subject of his allegiance to his sovereign or to the state; distinguished from petit treason, treason against a subject, such as murder of a master by his servant. Constructive treason was a judicial fiction whereby actions carried out without treasonable intent, but found to have the effect of treason, were punished as though they were treason itself. The protection against this accounts for the careful wording of the definition of treason in the U.S. Constitution.


n. 1 The crime of betraying one’s own country. 2 Providing aid and comfort to the enemy.

  1. n. a crime that undermines the offender's government [syn: high treason, lese majesty]

  2. disloyalty by virtue of subversive behavior [syn: subversiveness, traitorousness]

  3. an act of deliberate betrayal [syn: treachery, betrayal, perfidy]

Treason (album)

Treason is the last album by progressive rock band, Gryphon, originally released in 1977 by Harvest, catalogue number SHSP 4063.

The album was produced and co-ordinated by Mike Thorne with engineering by Mick Glossop and John Leckie. It was recorded at the Manor, Oxfordshire and Abbey Road, London.

Treason (1964 film)

Treason (, translit. Prodosia) is a 1964 Greek drama film directed by Kostas Manoussakis. It was entered into the 1965 Cannes Film Festival. The film was also selected as the Greek entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 37th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.

Treason (1933 film)

Treason is a 1933 American Pre-Code Western film directed by George B. Seitz.

Treason (band)

Treason are a heavy rock/metal trio based in London, England.

Treason (1959 film)

Treason is a 1959 Australian television live drama, which aired on ABC. Originally broadcast 16 December 1959 in Melbourne, a kinescope ("telerecording") was made of the program and shown in Sydney on 13 January 1960. It was an adaptation of a stage play by Welsh writer Saunders Lewis, which had previously been adaptated as an episode of BBC Sunday-Night Theatre.

Duration was 75 minutes, in black-and-white. Produced by William Sterling.

A kinescope copy of the program may be held by National Archives of Australia but is not available for viewing.


In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's nation or sovereign. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife or that of a master by his servant. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a lesser superior was petty treason. A person who commits treason is known in law as a traitor. Oran's Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as "...[a]... citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation]." In many nations, it is also often considered treason to attempt or conspire to overthrow the government, even if no foreign country is aiding or involved by such an endeavor.

Outside legal spheres, the word "traitor" may also be used to describe a person who betrays (or is accused of betraying) his own political party, nation, family, friends, ethnic group, team, religion, social class, or other group to which he may belong. Often, such accusations are controversial and disputed, as the person may not identify with the group of which he is a member, or may otherwise disagree with the group members making the charge. See, for example, race traitor, often used by White supremacists, or directed at people in inter-racial relationships (cf. miscegenation).

At times, the term "traitor" has been used as a political epithet, regardless of any verifiable treasonable action. In a civil war or insurrection, the winners may deem the losers to be traitors. Likewise the term "traitor" is used in heated political discussiontypically as a slur against political dissidents, or against officials in power who are perceived as failing to act in the best interest of their constituents. In certain cases, as with the German Dolchstoßlegende, the accusation of treason towards a large group of people can be a unifying political message. Treason is considered to be different and on many occasions a separate charge from 'Treasonable Felony' in many parts of the world.

Treason (disambiguation)

Treason is a crime that covers a variety of extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation.

Treason may also refer to:

In film:

  • Treason (1933 film), an American Western directed by George B. Seitz
  • Treason (1959 film), an Australian television film
  • Treason (1964 film), a Greek drama directed by Kostas Manoussakis

In literature:

  • Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism, a 2003 book by Ann Coulter
  • A Planet Called Treason, reissued as Treason, a 1979 novel by Orson Scott Card

In music:

  • Treason (band), an English rock band
  • Treason (album), a 1977 album by Gryphon
  • "Treason", a song by Kutless from Sea of Faces
  • "Treason", a song by M. Pokora from MP3

Usage examples of "treason".

They may opine that I have been an abettor of treason, that I have attempted to circumvent the ends of justice, and that I may have impersonated you in order to render possible your escape.

All these were arraigned, convicted, and condemned for high treason, in adhering and promising aid to Perkin.

Only Adin, however, had ever been a fugitive from justice: a former Starfleet security officer falsely convicted of treason and murder.

Here am I with a pack of villains on my hands and no way to convict them of tinkering with the water adjutages, let alone treason!

This deadly and incoherent mixture of treason and magic, of poison and adultery, afforded infinite gradations of guilt and innocence, of excuse and aggravation, which in these proceedings appear to have been confounded by the angry or corrupt passions of the judges.

At my age such treason should not have astonished me, but my vanity would not allow me to admit the fact.

Sir William Scrope, earl of Wiltshire, in 1393, and by his subsequent attainder for high treason and the confiscation of his estates, became a fief of the English crown.

Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Johnson had been copiously illustrating the guilt of treason, and avowing his intention to punish traitors with the severest penalty known to the law, Mr.

Faun Tumnus, is under arrest and awaiting his trial on a charge of High Treason against her Imperial Majesty Jadis, Queen of Narnia, Chatelaine of Cair Paravel, Empress of the Lone Islands, etc.

CHAPTER XXIX Treason of Soradaci--How I Get the Best of Him--Father Balbi Ends His Work--I Escape from My Cell--Unseasonable Observations of Count Asquin The Critical Moment Soradaci had had my letters for two or three days when Lawrence came one afternoon to take him to the secretary.

On the Monday following, Mr Cayenne, who had been some time before appointed a justice of the peace, came over from Wheatrig House to the Cross-Keys, where he sent for me and divers other respectable inhabitants of the clachan, and told us that he was to have a sad business, for a warrant was out to bring before him two democratical weaver lads, on a suspicion of high treason.

He could not exactly be called ugly in spite of his hangdog countenance, in which I saw the outward signs of cruelty, disloyalty, treason, pride, brutal sensuality, hatred, and jealousy.

Was Kukushkin the genuine defector he claimed to be or a consummate actor putting on a good imitation of treason?