Student Dictionary

2 entries found for treason.
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Main Entry: trea·son
Pronunciation: primarystresstremacronz-schwan
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English tresoun "treason," from early French traisun (same meaning), from Latin tradition-, traditio "the action of handing over, tradition, betrayal," from tradere "to hand over, betray," from tra-, trans- "across" and dare "to give" --related to TRADITION, TRAITOR
1 : the betrayal of a trust : TREACHERY
2 : the crime of attempting to overthrow the government of one's country or of attempting to kill or injure the ruler or the ruler's family
Word History The words treason and tradition both come from the same Latin source. The Latin word traditio meant "teaching" or "tradition." These senses developed from its basic meaning, which was "the act of handing something over." Tradition is maintained by passing information from one generation to another. One kind of treason is committed when someone who has been entrusted with secret information passes it on to someone else. The word tradition was borrowed directly from the Latin traditio. Treason, on the other hand, came to us through early French, where traditio had changed into the word traisun.

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