Definition of scapegoat in English:

scapegoat

Line breaks: scape|goat
Pronunciation: /ˈskeɪpɡəʊt
 
/

noun

1A person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others, especially for reasons of expediency.
More example sentences
  • They might be poor - and society tends to use the poor as scapegoats for the wrong doings of the big hands - but not all bad.
  • Labor and Liberal politicians both gain, along with capitalism's ruling class, when workers blame scapegoats for a life of insecurity and want, rather than the government or system.
  • But rather than seeing what it is we don't like, as the result of our culture and collective stupidity that gave the automobile so much power, we blame our problems on scapegoats.
Synonyms
whipping boy, victim, Aunt Sally; North Americangoat
informal fall guy
North American informal patsy
2(In the Bible) a goat sent into the wilderness after the Jewish chief priest had symbolically laid the sins of the people upon it (Lev. 16).
More example sentences
  • Like the dogs, the scapegoats were, Strelan argues, central to the purificatory rites of Asia Minor where the churches addressed in Revelation are located.
  • Both dogs and scapegoats will be shown to be central in many of the purificatory rituals of Asia Minor where the churches addressed in Revelation are located.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
Make a scapegoat of: secret police scapegoated a few of the ringleaders to put an end to the issue
More example sentences
  • The Republicans scapegoated gays to win the election.
  • And I said it at the beginning, I felt that these guys were getting scapegoated, and I absolutely stand by that.
  • Jesus never scapegoated people who had less power than the majority and never endorsed the human tendency to draw distinctions between in and out groups.

Origin

mid 16th century: from archaic scape 'escape' + goat.

Definition of scapegoat in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day fioritura
Pronunciation: fɪˌɔːrɪˈt(j)ʊərə
noun
an embellishment of a melody...