Adjective "scapegoats" definition and examples

(Scapegoats may not be an adjective, but it can be used as an adjective, click here to find out.)



Definitions and examples


A person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others, especially for reasons of expediency.
  1. 'The quest for truth, North insists, is not about apportioning blame or naming scapegoats, but the prevention of future tragedies.'
  2. 'When there is a problem, there always is a scapegoat to blame.'
  3. 'They might be poor - and society tends to use the poor as scapegoats for the wrong doings of the big hands - but not all bad.'
  4. 'However, in contrast, my argument is that we need to be cautious about where we lay blame rather than pointing the finger at easy scapegoats.'
  5. 'The obvious thing to do would be to find a scapegoat, so they blame it on the bugs.'
  6. 'Teenagers have always been an easy scapegoat to blame for wider problems, but ultimately the majority of these young people grow up into well rounded adults.'
  7. 'But its themes of partying while the world turns upside down, seeking scapegoats to blame for times being tough, and people denying the reality of change, turn out to be as pertinent as ever.'
  8. 'When are we going to tackle the epidemic of buck-passing and bad behaviour by grown-ups, and stop looking for syndromes and scapegoats to blame where our children are concerned?'
  9. 'When people face a crisis, they often revert to an unfortunate human tendency: to protect their own while finding a scapegoat to blame the problem on.'
  10. 'As a nation, we take losses very hard and spend the days after the fact nominating scapegoats and lamenting mistakes.'
(in the Bible) a goat sent into the wilderness after the Jewish chief priest had symbolically laid the sins of the people upon it (Lev. 16).
  1. 'Both dogs and scapegoats will be shown to be central in many of the purificatory rituals of Asia Minor where the churches addressed in Revelation are located.'


Make a scapegoat of.
  1. 'it makes little sense to scapegoat the poor'
  2. 'It was scapegoated just before Prohibition took hold of the United States, its detractors claimed it caused insanity, blindness and even death.'
  3. 'He contends fundamentalist Christians and other conservatives scapegoat gays and lesbians.'
  4. 'Could it be there's method in the apparent madness of allowing these two to scapegoat others for Government failures?'
  5. 'The media, modernity, Americanism, and a permissive ‘therapeutic’ culture can be ritually scapegoated.'
  6. 'Well, I think the Catholic Church isn't looking to scapegoat anyone.'
  7. 'She is currently suspended from duty but she believes she has been unfairly scapegoated and is taking a High Court case to be re-instated.'
  8. 'Young Irish people are being scapegoated as binge drinkers and should not be blamed for the national increase in alcohol consumption, the president of the National Youth Council said yesterday.'
  9. 'And so, in a cynical political exercise smacking of opportunism if not racism, they scapegoat the unborn children of non-national parents.'
  10. 'And I said it at the beginning, I felt that these guys were getting scapegoated, and I absolutely stand by that.'
  11. 'Jesus never scapegoated people who had less power than the majority and never endorsed the human tendency to draw distinctions between in and out groups.'

More definitions

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. Lev. 16:8,10,2

6. verb (used with object)

3. to make a scapegoat of: Strike leaders tried to scapegoat foreign competitors.

More examples(as adjective)

"people can be scapegoats for acts."

"people can be scapegoats."

"people/places/organizations can be scapegoats."

"sources can be scapegoats."

"players can be scapegoats."

More examples++


(scapegoat)Mid 16th century: from archaic scape ‘escape’ + goat.