WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
scape•goat /ˈskeɪpˌgoʊt/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. one forced to take the blame for others:After the scandal became public, the president looked for a scapegoat and found one in the accounting division.

v. [+ object]
  1. to make a scapegoat of:The company scapegoated its accounting division.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
scape•goat  (skāpgōt′),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.
  2. Bible[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. 16:8,10,26.

v.t. 
  1. to make a scapegoat of:Strike leaders tried to scapegoat foreign competitors.
  • scape2 + goat 1520–30


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

scapegoat /ˈskeɪpˌɡəʊt/ n
  1. a person made to bear the blame for others
  2. a goat used in the ritual of Yom Kippur (Leviticus 16); it was symbolically laden with the sins of the Israelites and sent into the wilderness to be destroyed
vb
  1. (transitive) to make a scapegoat of
Etymology: 16th Century: from escape + goat, coined by William Tyndale to translate Biblical Hebrew azāzēl (probably) goat for Azazel, mistakenly thought to mean ``goat that escapes''



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