fall guy


: scapegoat
a fall guy for his boss's errors

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 Not officially, maybe, but canned for using players on the roster given him — by Preller, who can play many roles except fall guy. Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Oct. 2023 And if the allegations against Fried prove true, then Singh may have been an unwitting fall guy in a disastrous family affair. Byleo Schwartz, Fortune Crypto, 20 Sep. 2023 Those desperate to pin the wide-ranging failures of 2023 on single fall guy is understandable, yet entire time zones off the mark. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Aug. 2023 The snake was a fall guy. Rae Armantrout, The New Republic, 9 Feb. 2023 In the Times story, the role of fall guy is assumed largely by Hearthside Food Solutions. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 28 Feb. 2023 And Jim being the husband … and that's being the typical fall guy, the husband must have done it. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, 25 Feb. 2023 She’s always been the group’s most lovely and merciful figure, someone who was introverted, practical and a fall guy for the most painful and extreme cycles of love. Erin Osmon, Los Angeles Times, 1 Dec. 2022 The producers, except for the name in front of the camera — the easiest fall guy — so far evading any meaningful responsibility whatsoever. Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fall guy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1895, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fall guy was in 1895

Dictionary Entries Near fall guy

Cite this Entry

“Fall guy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fall%20guy. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

fall guy

: a person on whom something is blamed : scapegoat

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