scan·​dal | \ ˈskan-dᵊl How to pronounce scandal (audio) \

Definition of scandal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a circumstance or action that offends propriety or established moral conceptions or disgraces those associated with it
b : a person whose conduct offends propriety or morality a scandal to the profession
2 : loss of or damage to reputation caused by actual or apparent violation of morality or propriety : disgrace
3 : malicious or defamatory gossip
4 : indignation, chagrin, or bewilderment brought about by a flagrant violation of morality, propriety, or religious opinion
5a : discredit brought upon religion by unseemly conduct in a religious person
b : conduct that causes or encourages a lapse of faith or of religious obedience in another


scandaled; scandaling; scandals

Definition of scandal (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 chiefly dialectal : defame, slander
2 obsolete : disgrace

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Synonyms & Antonyms for scandal

Synonyms: Noun

disgrace, dishonor, opprobrium, reflection, reproach

Antonyms: Noun

credit, honor

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Choose the Right Synonym for scandal


offense, sin, vice, crime, scandal mean a transgression of law. offense applies to the infraction of any law, rule, or code. at that school no offense went unpunished sin implies an offense against moral or religious law. the sin of blasphemy vice applies to a habit or practice that degrades or corrupts. regarded gambling as a vice crime implies a serious offense punishable by the law of the state. the crime of murder scandal applies to an offense that outrages the public conscience. a career ruined by a sex scandal

Examples of scandal in a Sentence


There was a major scandal involving the mayor's ties with the Mob. Government officials were caught in an embezzlement scandal. Her behavior caused a scandal at school. There was never a hint of scandal during her time in office. The gossip magazine is filled with rumors and scandal. The high price of gas these days is a scandal. It's a scandal that this city doesn't have a movie theater.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Trump’s first advisor, Michael Flynn, resigned amid scandal just weeks into the president’s term. Wired, "National Security Is in Trump's Hands," 13 Sep. 2019 Felicity Huffman, the former Desperate Housewives star, who made headlines earlier this year for her involvement in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal, was sentenced to 14 days in prison on Friday afternoon in a Boston court. Emma Specter, Vogue, "Felicity Huffman Has Been Sentenced to 14 Days in Prison," 13 Sep. 2019 When Politico or any other outlet whips up a fake scandal, the predictable next stage is that even more specious and disgusting things get said by pundits joining the pile-on. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Politico Doubles Down on Fake Turnberry Scandal," 13 Sep. 2019 The 1919 World Series game is known as the 'black sox scandal' after members of the team were accused of throwing the game to the Cincinnati Reds. Briana Rice,, "Great American Ball Park will host free screening of 'Field of Dreams'," 10 Sep. 2019 Skip to main content Nissan's global CEO has resigned as the automaker remains entrenched in chaos following the firing of chairman Carlos Ghosn amid an alleged scandal. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa resigns as chaos continues at Nissan after Carlos Ghosn scandal," 9 Sep. 2019 Craig Galvin, a Dorchester realtor and member of the Zoning Board of Appeal who has come under scrutiny amid a bribery scandal tied to City Hall, resigned from his post this weekend. Tim Logan,, "Zoning board member resigns amid bribery scandal," 8 Sep. 2019 The reunion came the same day that Longoria submitted a letter in support of another former Desperate Housewives star, Felicity Huffman, as Huffman goes on trial amid the college admissions scandal. Helen Murphy,, "Eva Longoria Reunites with Marcia Cross After Her Letter of Support for Costar Felicity Huffman," 7 Sep. 2019 Facebook launched dating in May 2018—shortly after the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal—with the idea that the social network’s mission to bring people closer together should include romantic relationships. Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg, Time, "Facebook's New Dating Feature Lets You Pick a 'Secret Crush' From Your Instagram Network," 5 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Social scientists predicted the Cambridge Analytica scandal way back in 2007. Felix Salmon, WIRED, "The Case for A Zuck-Free Facebook," 3 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scandal.' 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 scandal


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5a


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for scandal


Middle English, from Late Latin scandalum stumbling block, offense, from Greek skandalon trap, stumbling block, offense; akin to Latin scandere to climb

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Statistics for scandal

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for scandal

The first known use of scandal was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for scandal



English Language Learners Definition of scandal

: an occurrence in which people are shocked and upset because of behavior that is morally or legally wrong
: talk about the shocking or immoral things that people have done or are believed to have done
: something that is shocking, upsetting, or unacceptable


scan·​dal | \ ˈskan-dəl How to pronounce scandal (audio) \

Kids Definition of scandal

1 : something that angers or shocks people because rules or standards of behavior are violated
2 : talk that injures a person's good name

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Comments on scandal

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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