ARTS & CULTURE
01/31/2017 05:07 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2017

Searches For 'Betrayal' Spike After Spicer Is Asked To Define It

Spicer refused to define the word during a press conference.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer may not want to define the word “betrayal,” but Merriam-Webster will gladly do so.

The publishing company said that the look-ups for the word “betrayal” had spiked on Jan. 31, shortly after a press conference with Spicer.

Yuri Gripas / Reuters

In the conference, Spicer addressed the recent firing of Acting Attorney General Sally Yates. President Trump fired Yates for refusing to defend his executive order barring refugees and others from seven majority-Muslim nations, and for sending a letter opposing the ban to the Department of Justice.

Trump issued a memo about Yates’ refusal that indicated she “betrayed the Department of Justice.”

After a reporter asked about Spicer’s use of the word “betrayal” regarding Trump’s assessment of Yates’ actions, another asked, “Why use the word betrayal?” This led to Spicer being asked to define the word. He insisted he wouldn’t. 

But, as dictionaries are wont to do, Merriam-Webster is here to educate us on what it all means.

Their definition is as follows:

Betrayal is the noun that came from the verb betray, which has several meanings, including ‘to deliver to an enemy by treachery,’ ‘to fail or desert especially in time of need,’ ‘to reveal unintentionally,’ and ‘to disclose in violation of confidence.’ Betrayal means ‘the act of betraying or fact of being betrayed.’”

So, there you have it. You can infer for yourself whether or not it was the right word for what Yates did. These are just the facts.


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