Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • suffix A scandal involving alleged illegal acts and often a cover-up, especially by government officials: Irangate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • suffix Combined with keywords to form the names of scandals.
  • suffix Used to form place names of towns by sea.

Etymologies

After Watergate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Back-formation from Watergate. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • That story didn't really rate a "-gate" coverage, but photos of Viagra-enhanced penises are much easier to, uh, grasp than the fine points of power shifts in the Mideast or debt ceiling debates.

    Kate Clinton: New York State of Mind -- Rights Not Rites

  • Now the suffix “-gate” and the word “Munich” have solidified into pieces of vocabulary, available to denote any government misdeed or political appeasement.

    The Nature of Technology

  • In the same way that today's scandals are given the suffix -gate in memory of the Watergate affair, today's football bowls are named after the granddaddy of college football stadiums, the Rose Bowl which in turn was inspired by the Yale Bowl, so named because its shape resembled a bowl.

    Slate Magazine

  • Thanks for all the emails suggesting we replace -gate with -end in the Bell matter - you've proved the OBO readership has emphatically still got it.

    The Guardian World News

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