Trea"son (?), n. [OE. tresun, treisun, traisoun, OF. traïson, 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.

☞ 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.