treason versus treachery

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Hese

Senior Member
German
Hello there,

could you please tell me if I'm wrong or right in supposing that "treason" can only be used in connection with "high treason" and is the legal term whereas "treachery" can be used in everyday life? That's what all my dictionaries confirm, but I prefer to ask you.

Thank you!
 
  • Eigenfunction

    Senior Member
    England - English
    That sounds reasonable to me. In terms of etymology, treason comes from a root, meaning "handing over", whereas treachery comes from trechier, "to cheat or deceive", so treason is a lot stronger. You can cheat or deceive your allies, which is treacherous, but its not nearly as bad as handing them over to their enemies, which is treason.
     
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