fall guy


Definition of fall guy

: scapegoat a fall guy for his boss's errors

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Examples of fall guy in a Sentence

His lawyers will argue that he was set up as a fall guy for crimes he had no part in. the sandlot ball players wanted the littlest kid to be the fall guy for the broken window, figuring that he'd have the best chance of escaping punishment
Recent Examples on the Web Maybe Jason Garrett shouldn't have been the fall guy after all. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "NFL Week 4 winners, losers: Mike McCarthy's Cowboys plagued by same issues from Jason Garrett era," 5 Oct. 2020 He was sacked just two months after his first official game in charge and made the fall guy for the club's poor performances. Matias Grez, CNN, "Sevilla continues Europa League love affair with final victory over Inter Milan," 21 Aug. 2020 Herbert Stempel, a fall guy and whistleblower of early television whose confession to deliberately losing on a 1950s quiz show helped drive a national scandal and join his name in history to winning contestant Charles Van Doren, has died age 93. Time, "Herbert Stempel, Who Blew the Whistle on Rigged 1950s Quiz Show, Dies at 93," 1 June 2020 The notes revealed an Amazon that seemed more interested in getting good press for itself — and in setting up any protesters as fall guys — than in protecting workers. David Streitfeld, New York Times, "As Amazon Rises, So Does the Opposition," 18 Apr. 2020 Outsiders make convenient fall guys for pandemics; the Black Death led to massacres of Jews across Europe. Olga Khazan, The Atlantic, "The Coronavirus Could Worsen Class Warfare," 15 Apr. 2020 Brown could end up being the fall guy even if there are legit reasons beyond his control. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Sixers playing without Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and a net and it's not good look," 28 Feb. 2020 Like many Ghost Ship residents, Brito defended Harris and Almena as fall guys for a system that failed them and those killed in the fire. Megan Cassidy, San Francisco Chronicle, "Life after Ghost Ship," 7 Feb. 2020 Officials in Wuhan are the most obvious fall guys for the crisis, and several have already offered to resign. James Griffiths, CNN, "China says Xi Jinping is directing its Wuhan coronavirus response, but he's nowhere to be seen," 5 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fall guy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fall guy

1895, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for fall guy

Time Traveler

The first known use of fall guy was in 1895

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Statistics for fall guy

Last Updated

18 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fall guy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fall%20guy. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for fall guy

fall guy


English Language Learners Definition of fall guy

informal : a person who is blamed for something done by others

More from Merriam-Webster on fall guy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fall guy

Nglish: Translation of fall guy for Spanish Speakers

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