American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. One that is made to bear the blame of others.
- n. Bible A live goat over whose head Aaron confessed all the sins of the children of Israel on the Day of Atonement. The goat, symbolically bearing their sins, was then sent into the wilderness.
- v. To make a scapegoat of.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In the ancient Jewish ritual, a goat on which the chief priest, on the day of atonement, symbolically laid the sins of the people. The goat was then driven into the wilderness. Lev. xvi.
- n. One who is made to bear the blame of the misdeeds of others.
- n. 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.
- n. Someone punished for the error or errors of someone else.
- v. transitive To punish someone for the error or errors of someone else; to make a scapegoat of.
- v. transitive To blame something for the problems of a given society without evidence to back up the claim.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (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.
- n. Hence, a person or thing that is made to bear blame for others.
- n. someone who is punished for the errors of others
- Coined by Tyndale from scape + goat, interpreting Hebrew עזאזל ("Azazel") (Leviticus 16:8, 10, 26), from an interpretation as coming from עז (ez, "goat") and אוזל (ozél, "escapes"). First attested 1530. (Wiktionary)
- scape2 + goat (translation of Hebrew 'ēz 'ōzēl, goat that escapes, misreading of 'ăzā'zēl, Azazel). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“One of our friends, Gwinya, told us that the term scapegoat derives from an ancient ritual in one traditional community.”
“He begins with William Tyndale, whose English-language translation of the bible published in 1530 contained the first use of the term "scapegoat" and who then became a scapegoat himself when he was described by Thomas More as a "hell-hound" and blamed for the Peasants' War in Germany.”
“Holian also brought a goat and explained to the students where the term scapegoat originated.”
“Mr. Campbell traces the word "scapegoat" to William Tyndale's 1530 English-language translation of the Bible.”
“Besides the goat offered for the people the blood of which was sprinkled before the mercy seat, the high priest led forth a second goat, namely, the scapegoat; over it he confessed the people's sins, putting them on the head of the goat, which was sent as the sin-bearer into the wilderness out of sight, implying that the atonement effected by the goat sin offering (of which the ceremony of the scapegoat is a part, and not distinct from the sin offering) consisted in the transfer of the people's sins on the goat, and their consequent removal out of sight.”
“I suspect we will be hearing about the Eeeeevil Booooooooooooooooosh Admin for some time to come, i.e. whenever a handy scapegoat is needed for the failures of Teh Mess - I - Yah.”
“Palm just wants to do it the easy way, and have a built-in scapegoat when it breaks.”
“Every Democrats favorite 2000 election scapegoat is running for president.”
“Sheâ€ ™ s borderline retarded their using her as a scapegoat is insane!”
“MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I don't think he uses the word scapegoat but certainly a lot of anger comes through in some of the comments that you have heard on television.”
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