sacrificial lamb


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

Examples of sacrificial lamb in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The character Tom Wambsgans, son-in-law to ruthless media tycoon Logan Roy, gets hold of a binder of prison data to thumb through in anticipation of being sent to a federal pen as a sacrificial lamb in an FBI probe of the family business. Bill Hutchinson, ABC News, 21 Dec. 2021 That could cost the quiet backbench Democrat Jerry McNerney, who might find himself a sacrificial lamb. New York Times, 7 Dec. 2021 Following Texas’ fourth straight loss, a lopsided 30-7 shellacking at the hands of Iowa State, senior nose tackle Keondre Coburn, offered up once again as post-game sacrificial lamb, searched for the right words. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 7 Nov. 2021 Gerri is still in place as a figurehead and potential sacrificial lamb, ready to absorb any nuclear radiation that this war may bring the company’s way. Kevin Sullivan, Robb Report, 24 Oct. 2021 Wonder Woman 1984 became a Covid victim and a sacrificial lamb to the streaming wars. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 18 Oct. 2021 Looks like Cory and Kyle's team is going to continue to be the sacrificial lamb. Sydney Bucksbaum,, 14 Oct. 2021 But the 46-year-old father was not a willing martyr or sacrificial lamb for the Democratic Party's idea of justice reform. Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, 25 Apr. 2021 All this may further elevate her into a Trumpian figure, a rich sacrificial lamb. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, 3 Feb. 2021 See More

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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The first known use of sacrificial lamb was in 1834

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Dictionary Entries Near sacrificial lamb


sacrificial lamb

sacrificial theory

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Cite this Entry

“Sacrificial lamb.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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