sacrificial lamb

noun
|Updated on: 23 May 2018

Definition of sacrificial lamb

: someone or something that is deliberately sacrificed to promote a cause or for the benefit of others
  • … has become the sacrificial lamb to deflect criticism about exaggerated charges used to make the case for war on Iraq.
  • —John Diamond
  • Yet some women complain that they are recruited as sacrificial lambs to fill out tickets against incumbents regarded as unbeatable.
  • —Patricia A. Avery

Recent Examples of sacrificial lamb from the Web

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

First Known Use of sacrificial lamb

1834

in the meaning defined above

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