sacrificial lamb

noun

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

Jughead ends the season by giving himself up as a sacrificial lamb to the Ghoulies. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Everything That Happened On "Riverdale" Season 2," 8 Oct. 2018 Lunz guided the Bexar County Republican Party in the late 1960s, when a successful election cycle for the GOP meant finding enough sacrificial lambs to fill out the ballot. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Brehm would lead local GOP further to the fringe," 8 May 2018 At least Nick Saban is nice enough not to run up the score on the sacrificial lambs of college football. Joseph Goodman, AL.com, "Alabama will be better without Collin Sexton," 17 Mar. 2018 So, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who figured to be the sacrificial lamb after the Ravens stumbled through that horrid first half against the Bengals, is still in place and the team reorganized the coaching staff. Peter Schmuck, baltimoresun.com, "Schmuck: Ravens were never going to win all their fans back in one week," 7 Jan. 2018 Sure enough, Geillis is in there with Ian, who’s all trussed up like a sacrificial lamb. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "Outlander Season 3 Finale: Claire and Jamie Head Straight for "The Eye of the Storm"," 11 Dec. 2017 But if this savior is not hired — and on the road recruiting right away — then this recruiting class will be the sacrificial lamb of the decision. Chris Bumbaca, ajc, "Mike Riley fired: Nebraska must hire coach quickly for recruiting as early signing period looms," 25 Nov. 2017 The monster on one side, the sacrificial lamb on the other. Kenzie Bryant, Vanities, "Asia Argento Escapes to Germany After Onslaught of Victim-Blaming in Her Native Italy," 20 Oct. 2017 The monster on one side, the sacrificial lamb on the other. Kenzie Bryant, vanityfair.com, "Asia Argento Escapes to Germany After Onslaught of Victim-Blaming in Her Native Italy," 20 Oct. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of sacrificial lamb

1834, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sacrificial lamb

Share sacrificial lamb

Statistics for sacrificial lamb

Last Updated

21 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sacrificial lamb

The first known use of sacrificial lamb was in 1834

See more words from the same year

Comments on sacrificial lamb

What made you want to look up sacrificial lamb? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a nest or breeding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!