noun scape·goat \ˈskāp-ˌgōt\

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

Full Definition of SCAPEGOAT

:  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
a :  one that bears the blame for others
b :  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>


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


transitive verb

Definition of SCAPEGOAT

:  to make a scapegoat of
scape·goat·ism \-ˌgō-ˌti-zəm\ noun

First Known Use of SCAPEGOAT



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