scapegoat

1. noun /ˈskeɪpˌɡoʊt,ˈskeɪpˌɡəʊt/
a) In the Mosaic Day of Atonement ritual, a goat symbolically imbued with the sins of the people, and sent out alive into the wilderness while another was sacrificed.

He is making me a scapegoat.

b) Someone punished for the error or errors of someone else.

The new Secretary of State had been long sick of the perfidy and levity of the First Lord of the Treasury, and began to fear that he might be made a scapegoat to save the old intriguer who, imbecile as he seemed, never wanted dexterity where danger was to be avoided.

2. verb /ˈskeɪpˌɡoʊt,ˈskeɪpˌɡəʊt/
a) To punish someone for the error or errors of someone else; to make a scapegoat of.

: Dont scapegoat me for your mistake.

b) To blame something for the problems of a given society without evidence to back up the claim.

People tend to fear and then to scapegoat ... groups which seem to them to be fundamentally different from their own.

See Also: scapegoater, scapegoatism

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • scapegoat — Ⅰ. scapegoat UK US /ˈskeɪpgəʊt/ noun [C] ► a person or thing that is blamed for something bad that someone else has done: »Politicians have used the financial sector as a scapegoat for the global economic crisis. Ⅱ. scapegoat UK US /ˈskeɪpɡəʊt/… …   Financial and business terms

  • scapegoat — ► NOUN 1) a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings or mistakes of others. 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 (Leviticus, chapter 16). ► VERB ▪… …   English terms dictionary

  • scapegoat — [skāp′gōt΄] n. [coined by TYNDALE William (1530) < SCAPE2 + GOAT, prob. from LL(Vulg.) caper emissarius, lit., emissary goat, transl. of Gr(Ec) tragos aperchomenos, departing goat, used as transl. of Heb sair laazazel < sair, he goat + l,… …   English World dictionary

  • Scapegoat — Scape goat , n. [Scape (for escape) + goat.] 1. (Jewish Antiq.) A goat upon whose head were symbolically placed the sins of the people, after which he was suffered to escape into the wilderness. Lev. xvi. 10. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence, a person or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • scapegoat — (n.) 1530, goat sent into the wilderness on the Day of Atonement, symbolic bearer of the sins of the people, coined by Tyndale from SCAPE (Cf. scape) (n.) + GOAT (Cf. goat) to translate L. caper emissarius, itself a translation in Vulgate of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • scapegoat — [n] person who takes blame for another’s action boob*, chump, doormat*, dupe, easy mark*, fall guy*, fool, goat*, gull*, mark*, patsy, pigeon*, pushover*, sacrifice, sap*, schmuck*, sitting duck*,  stooge, sucker, victim, weakling; concept 412 …   New thesaurus

  • Scapegoat — 16.The scapegoat is attested in two ritual texts in archives at Ebla of the 24th century BCE. [Ida Zatelli, The Origin of the Biblical Scapegoat Ritual: The Evidence of Two Eblaite Text , Vetus Testamentum 48.2 (April 1998:254 263).] They were… …   Wikipedia

  • scapegoat — I UK [ˈskeɪpˌɡəʊt] / US [ˈskeɪpˌɡoʊt] noun [countable] Word forms scapegoat : singular scapegoat plural scapegoats someone who is blamed for something that is not their fault, especially because someone else wants to avoid being blamed scapegoat… …   English dictionary

  • scapegoat — /skayp goht /, n. 1. a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place. 2. Chiefly Biblical. a goat let loose in the wilderness on Yom Kippur after the high priest symbolically laid the sins of the people on its head …   Universalium

  • scapegoat — scape|goat1 [ skeıp,gout ] noun count someone who is blamed for something that is not their fault, especially because someone else wants to avoid being blamed: scapegoat for: She is being made a scapegoat for the commission s own mistakes.… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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