Treason Definition

Violation of the allegiance owed to one's sovereign or state; betrayal of one's country, specif., in the U.S. (as declared in the Constitution), consisting only in levying war against the U.S. or in giving aid and comfort to its enemies.
Webster's New World
Betrayal of trust or faith; treachery.
Webster's New World

An attempt to overthrow the government of the state or nation to which one owes allegiance, by making war against that government or by giving material support to the enemies of that government. In order to be convicted of treason, a person must confess in open court or there must be testimony to overt acts by two witnesses. See also sedition.

Webster's New World Law
Providing aid and comfort to the enemy.

Other Word Forms of Treason



Origin of Treason

  • From Middle English tresoun, treison, from Anglo-Norman treson, from Old French traïson (“treason"), from Latin trāditiōnem, accusative of trāditiō (“a giving up, handing over, surrender, delivery, tradition"), from trādō (“give up, hand over, deliver over, betray", verb), from trāns- (“over, across") +"Ž (“give").

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English from Anglo-Norman treson from Latin trāditiō trāditiōn- a handing over tradition

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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