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noun scan·dal \ˈskan-dəl\

Simple Definition of scandal

  • : an occurrence in which people are shocked and upset because of behavior that is morally or legally wrong

  • : talk about the shocking or immoral things that people have done or are believed to have done

  • : something that is shocking, upsetting, or unacceptable

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of scandal

  1. 1a :  discredit brought upon religion by unseemly conduct in a religious personb :  conduct that causes or encourages a lapse of faith or of religious obedience in another

  2. 2 :  loss of or damage to reputation caused by actual or apparent violation of morality or propriety :  disgrace

  3. 3a :  a circumstance or action that offends propriety or established moral conceptions or disgraces those associated with itb :  a person whose conduct offends propriety or morality <a scandal to the profession>

  4. 4 :  malicious or defamatory gossip

  5. 5 :  indignation, chagrin, or bewilderment brought about by a flagrant violation of morality, propriety, or religious opinion

Examples of scandal in a sentence

  1. There was a major scandal involving the mayor's ties with the Mob.

  2. Government officials were caught in an embezzlement scandal.

  3. Her behavior caused a scandal at school.

  4. There was never a hint of scandal during her time in office.

  5. The gossip magazine is filled with rumors and scandal.

  6. The high price of gas these days is a scandal.

  7. It's a scandal that this city doesn't have a movie theater.

Origin of scandal

Middle English, from Late Latin scandalum stumbling block, offense, from Greek skandalon trap, stumbling block, offense; akin to Latin scandere to climb

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of scandal

offense, resentment, umbrage, pique, dudgeon, huff mean an emotional response to or an emotional state resulting from a slight or indignity. offense implies hurt displeasure <takes deep offense at racial slurs>. resentment suggests lasting indignation or ill will <harbored a lifelong resentment of his brother>. umbrage may suggest hurt pride, resentment, or suspicion of another's motives <took umbrage at the offer of advice>. pique applies to a transient feeling of wounded vanity <in a pique I foolishly declined the invitation>. dudgeon suggests an angry fit of indignation <stormed out of the meeting in high dudgeon>. huff implies a peevish short-lived spell of anger usually at a petty cause <in a huff he slammed the door>.

offense, sin, vice, crime, scandal mean a transgression of law. offense applies to the infraction of any law, rule, or code <at that school no offense went unpunished>. sin implies an offense against moral or religious law <the sin of blasphemy>. vice applies to a habit or practice that degrades or corrupts <regarded gambling as a vice>. crime implies a serious offense punishable by the law of the state <the crime of murder>. scandal applies to an offense that outrages the public conscience <a career ruined by a sex scandal>.

Rhymes with scandal



transitive verb scan·dal

Definition of scandal

  1. 1 obsolete :  disgrace

  2. 2 chiefly dialect :  defame, slander


First Known Use of scandal


SCANDAL Defined for Kids


noun scan·dal \ˈskan-dəl\

Definition of scandal for Students

  1. 1 :  something that angers or shocks people because rules or standards of behavior are violated

  2. 2 :  talk that injures a person's good name

Seen and Heard

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a division or portion of a pool or whole

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