treason


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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.
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            The treason of the murthering in the bed. --Chaucer.
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   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.
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   2. Loosely, the betrayal of any trust or confidence;
      treachery; perfidy.
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            If he be false, she shall his treason see.
                                                  --Chaucer.
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   Petit treason. See under Petit.
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