Scandal meaning

skăn'dl
Damage to reputation or character caused by public disclosure of immoral or grossly improper behavior; disgrace.
noun
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A publicized incident that brings about disgrace or offends the moral sensibilities of society.

A drug scandal that forced the mayor's resignation.

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(obsolete) To scandalize; to offend.

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Scandal is defined as general surprise, shock or outrage as a result of behaviors or actions that are considered unacceptable or outside of the moral code of society, or to the morally improper action that causes such surprise.

When a married politician who preaches family values is caught in an extramarital affair, this is an example of a scandal.

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A person, thing, or circumstance that causes or ought to cause disgrace or outrage.

A politician whose dishonesty is a scandal; considered the housing shortage a scandal.

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Talk that is damaging to one's character; malicious gossip.
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Unseemly conduct of a religious person that discredits religion or causes moral lapse in another.
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Any act, person, or thing that offends or shocks moral feelings of the community and leads to disgrace.
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A reaction of shame, disgrace, outrage, etc. caused by such an act, person, or thing.
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Ignominy; disgrace.
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Malicious gossip; defamatory or slanderous talk.
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To slander.
verb
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Damage to one's reputation.

The incident brought considerable scandal to his family.

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Widespread moral outrage, indignation, as over an offence to decency.

When their behaviour was made public it caused a great scandal.

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(theology) Religious discredit; an act or behaviour which brings a religion into discredit.
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(theology) Something which hinders acceptance of religious ideas or behaviour; a stumbling-block or offense.
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Defamatory talk; gossip, slander.

According to village scandal, they weren't even married.

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(obsolete) To treat opprobriously; to defame; to slander.
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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster's Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
verb
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To disgrace.
verb
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An incident or event that disgraces or damages the reputation of the persons or organization involved.

Their affair was reported as a scandal by most tabloids.

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Origin of scandal

  • French scandale from Old French cause of sin from Latin scandalum trap, stumbling block, temptation from Greek skandalon skand- in Indo-European roots
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From Middle French scandale (“indignation caused by misconduct or defamatory speech"), from Ecclesiastical Latin scandalum (“that on which one trips, cause of offense", literally “stumbling block"), from Ancient Greek σκάνδαλον (skándalon, “a trap laid for an enemy, a cause of moral stumbling"), from Proto-Indo-European *skand- (“to jump"). Cognate with Latin scandō (“to climb"). First attested from Old Northern French escandle, but the modern word is a reborrowing. Sense evolution from "cause of stumbling, that which causes one to sin, stumbling block" to "discredit to reputation, that which brings shame, thing of disgrace" possibly due to early influence from other similar :sounding words for infamy and disgrace (compare Old English scand (“ignominity, scandal, disgraceful thing"), Old High German scanda (“ignominy, disgrace"), Gothic [script?] (skanda, “shame, disgrace")). See shand, shend.
    From Wiktionary