• WordNet 3.6
    • n turncoat a disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause or religion or political party or friend etc.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Turncoat tûrn"kōt` One who forsakes his party or his principles; a renegade; an apostate; a defector to the enemy. "He is a turncoat , he was not true to his profession."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n turncoat One who “turns his coat”—that is, forsakes his party or principles.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Turncoat one who turns his coat—that is, abandons his principles or party
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  • Henry Fielding
    “Wine is a turncoat; first a friend and then an enemy.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. tyrnan; Ger. turnen; Fr. tourner; all from L. tornāre, to turn in a lathe—tornus, a turner's wheel—Gr. tornos.


In literature:

Oh, they say, hang him, he is a turncoat!
"The Pilgrim's Progress" by John Bunyan
You didn't think I'd run from such a little subsidized, turncoat rag of a newspaper, did you?
"The Voice of the City" by O. Henry
She called Miss Abbott a turncoat and a coward to her face.
"Where Angels Fear to Tread" by E. M. Forster
St Peter, the rock on which our Church was built, was crucified head downwards for being a turncoat.
"John Bull's Other Island" by George Bernard Shaw
I have no faith in these turncoat constitutionalists.
"The Secret Memoirs of Louis XV./XVI, Complete" by Madame du Hausset, an "Unknown English Girl" and the Princess Lamballe
He no turncoat, squire.
"The Adventures of Harry Richmond, Complete" by George Meredith
His tricks are all turncoats that slip danger like an old garment.
"The Maid of the Whispering Hills" by Vingie E. Roe
She was another turncoat.
"Jane Allen: Right Guard" by Edith Bancroft
But I can prevent their swarming and buzzing in his Majesty's path like any crowd of turncoats.
"The Blue Pavilions" by Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
Now if your time is not wholly filled up, pray do give me one line to say you have not wholly given me up as a turncoat.
"Letters of Edward FitzGerald in two volumes, Vol. 1" by Edward FitzGerald

In news:

Syria's Turncoat General Could Embolden Assad's Enemies.
A GANGLAND WAR nearly erupted over pizza — but luckily, cooler heads prevailed during a sitdown at a Panera Bread cafe, a mob turncoat told Brooklyn jurors Wednesday.
Reputed mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi vowed in 2009 to kill radio celebrity Jerry Blavat, a mob turncoat testified Tuesday.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Defense lawyers for an alleged Philadelphia mob boss on trial with six others are expected to cross-examine a mob turncoat who has testified for the government.
Why turncoat voters back other party's candidate.
Stephen and Betty Cullum of Bithlo, Florida, are political turncoats.
Rick Perry Is a 10th-Amendment Turncoat .
GOP's Brown branded turncoat for jobs bill vote.
Barca Turncoat Swaps One Bench for Another.
Turncoat who tries to take over.
Defense Attacks Mafia Turncoat 's Credibility.
Prosecutors in Manhattan began presenting their evidence against John Gotti yesterday with an unusual expert witness, an admitted Mafia turncoat and informer.
Now, at 1-1, it's becoming a thing, complete with a turncoat making a huge play and everything.
PHILADELPHIA — Mob turncoat Philip Leonetti has been married for nearly 20 years to the mistress of a man he killed.
All of them have been denounced as turncoats.