whipping boy

noun

Definition of whipping boy

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

  2. 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>

1647

First Known Use of whipping boy

1647


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


Learn More about whipping boy


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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a harsh rebuke

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • hot-dog--hot-dog--hot-dog--hot-dog-cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ