from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.
- transitive v. To make a scapegoat of.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- 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. To punish someone for the error or errors of someone else; to make a scapegoat of.
- v. To blame something for the problems of a given society without evidence to back up the claim.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. 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.
from The 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.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. someone who is punished for the errors of others
scape2 + goat (translation of Hebrew 'ēz 'ōzēl, goat that escapes, misreading of 'ăzā'zēl, Azazel).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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)