whipping boy

noun

Definition of whipping boy

1 :a boy formerly educated with a prince and punished in his stead
2 :scapegoat 2

Examples of whipping boy in a Sentence

  1. used the government's economic policies as the whipping boy for every bad decision the company made

First Known Use of whipping boy

1647

whipping boy Synonyms


WHIPPING BOY Defined for English Language Learners

whipping boy

noun

Definition of whipping boy for English Language Learners

  • : someone or something that often is blamed for problems caused by other people



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

serious difficulty or misfortune

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!