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1

scapegoat

play
noun scape·goat \ˈskāp-ˌgōt\

Simple Definition of scapegoat

  • : a person who is unfairly blamed for something that others have done

Full Definition of scapegoat

  1. 1 :  a goat upon whose head are symbolically placed the sins of the people after which he is sent into the wilderness in the biblical ceremony for Yom Kippur

  2. 2a :  one that bears the blame for othersb :  one that is the object of irrational hostility

Examples of scapegoat

  1. The CEO was made the scapegoat for the company's failures.

  2. <companies often use the economy as a scapegoat to avoid taking responsibility for dropping sales>



Origin of scapegoat

1scape; intended as translation of Hebrew ʽazāzēl (probably name of a demon), as if ʽēz 'ōzēl goat that departs—Lev 16:8(Authorized Version)


First Known Use: 1530


2

scapegoat

transitive verb scape·goat

Definition of scapegoat

  1. :  to make a scapegoat of

scape·goat·ism play \-ˌgō-ˌti-zəm\ noun


1943

First Known Use of scapegoat

1943



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