c.1380, from O.Fr. tradicion (1292), from L. traditionem (nom. traditio) "delivery, surrender, a handing down," from traditus, pp. of tradere "deliver, hand over," from trans- "over" + dare "to give" (see date (1)). The word is a doublet of treason (q.v.).
early 13c., from Anglo-Fr. treson, from O.Fr. traison (11c.; Fr. trahison), from L. traditionem (nom. traditio) "a handing over, delivery, surrender" (see tradition). O.Fr. form influenced by the verb trair "betray." In old English law, high treason is violation by a subject of his allegiance to his sovereign or to the state; distinguished from petit treason, treason against a subject, such as murder of a master by his servant.