Is there a word I can use in place of 'committing treason' in the sentence

"The corporal was on trial for committing treason."

so the sentence reads

"The corporal was on trial for _____ing"

  • 2
    Welcome to SE! Thank you for including a sample sentence. What research have you done? What words have you tried and rejected?
    – miltonaut
    Dec 1, 2018 at 18:29
  • You can try using a synonym such as "mutiny", "revolt", "rebel", but there's probably nothing that carries the precise same legal implications.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 1, 2018 at 18:35
  • 4
    Any normal person would simply use the noun treason in your context (committing is completely redundant). If you're determined to use an alternative, and you don't mind sounding pretentious, consider treasonry (obsolete, rare, according to the full OED). Dec 1, 2018 at 18:36
  • The related verb is "to betray," but it is transitive, so you cannot say "the corporal was on trial for betraying." Furthermore, treason is far more specific than betray nowadays
    – phoog
    Aug 14, 2023 at 21:54

3 Answers 3


Treason is a defined legal concept, so has a definite meaning. There's no verb form of treason. Use

The corporal was on trial for treason.

  • 8
    "Defined legal concept" doesn't entail "there's no verb form," unless you can explain why. Dec 1, 2018 at 20:44
  • @AzorAhai I don't think he was making an implication, just stating independent facts.
    – Barmar
    Dec 4, 2018 at 8:05

The verb is the same as the noun - 'treason'. But the verb form is stated by the OED to be 'rare'.

13.. K. Alis. 723 Thy fadir hastow tresond here! c1330 R. Mannyng Chron. (1810) 105 Þei wer fulle wele knowen, þat wild haf tresond him. c1374 Chaucer Troilus & Criseyde iv. 410 (438) To traysen [v.r. trassen] a wight þat trewe is vn-to me. 1890 L. Lewis Proving of Gennad xv. 104 Ere morning, thou shalt know who treasons thee. (Hide quotations)


No verb springs to mind, but the sentiment is captured by treachery.

treachery noun

1 : violation of allegiance or of faith and confidence : treason

2 : an act of perfidy or treason

  • Marriam-Webster

So the sentence would read: "The corporal was on trial for treachery".

Note: As others have pointed out, certain words have different and specific meanings in law, so it depends whether you are describing the actual crime they are being tried for, or simply a general statement about its nature.

  • Treachery describes behavior or character. Treason is a criminal offense. No one is on trial for treachery. Dec 1, 2018 at 21:32
  • It is quite literally an act of treason. Much as one could be on trial for blowing up a house, and charged with arson, one may on trial for treachery and charged with treason.
    – Freddie R
    Dec 1, 2018 at 21:34
  • I don't think anyone would say "The corporal was on trial for killing." Dec 1, 2018 at 21:42
  • One could say "The corporal was on trial for killing his commanding officer", but since "treachery" doesn't really have the same construction so it is fine to leave as is.
    – Freddie R
    Dec 1, 2018 at 22:06
  • 3
    But OP asks for a verb, while treachery is a noun. If OP wanted to use a noun they could just use treason.
    – The Photon
    Dec 2, 2018 at 1:29

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