The definition of a scapegoat is someone who is assigned the blame or made to take the fall for something.(noun)
When three employees plan a prank together and then blame it on one person, getting him fired, the person who was blamed is an example of a scapegoat.
See scapegoat in Webster's New World College Dictionary
Origin: coined by William Tyndale (1530) < scape + 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, to + azazel, prob. name of a desert demon, but ? with folk-etym. meaning “goat that leaves,” as if < ez (female) goat + azal, has left
transitive verb, intransitive verb
See scapegoat in American Heritage Dictionary 4
Origin: + goat (translation of Hebrew ‘ēz ’ōzēl, goat that escapes, misreading of ‘ăzā’zēl, Azazel).
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