- the RITUAL found in the HEBREW BIBLE, (Leviticus 16) whereby on the day of ATONEMENT the HIGH PRIEST transfers the SINS of the people of ISRAEL onto a goat which is then driven into the desert to die. Analogous practices are found in other cultures. Today the term is applied to any individual or GROUP that takes the blame for the actions or misfortunes of another.
Concise dictionary of Religion. 2012.
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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 — 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… … Wiktionary
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