different between scapegoater vs scapegoat




scapegoat +? -er


scapegoater (plural scapegoaters)

  1. A person who makes a scapegoat of another person (punishes someone for another's wrongdoing)

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From scape +? goat; coined by Tyndale, interpreting Biblical Hebrew ????????? (azazél) (Leviticus 16:8, 10, 26), from an interpretation as coming from ???? (ez, goat) and ????? (ozél, escapes). First attested 1530.


  • (Canada, US) IPA(key): /?ske?p??o?t/
  • (UK) IPA(key): /?ske?p????t/


scapegoat (plural scapegoats)

  1. In the Mosaic Day of Atonement ritual, a goat symbolically imbued with the sins of the people, and sent out alive into the wilderness while another was sacrificed.
    • 1646, Sir Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, Book II, ch 5
      alluding herein unto the heart of man and the precious bloud of our Saviour, who was typified by the Goat that was slain, and the scape-Goat in the Wilderness
  2. Someone punished for the error or errors of someone else.
    He is making me a scapegoat.
    • 1834, Thomas Babington Macaulay, "William Pitt, Earl of Chatham" [1]
      The new Secretary of State had been long sick of the perfidy and levity of the First Lord of the Treasury, and began to fear that he might be made a scapegoat to save the old intriguer who, imbecile as he seemed, never wanted dexterity where danger was to be avoided.


  • (someone punished for someone else's error(s)): fall guy, patsy, whipping boy; see also Thesaurus:scapegoat



scapegoat (third-person singular simple present scapegoats, present participle scapegoating, simple past and past participle scapegoated)

  1. (transitive) To punish someone for the error or errors of someone else; to make a scapegoat of.
    • 1975, Richard M. Harris, Adam Kendon, Mary Ritchie Key, Organization of Behavior in Face-to-face Interaction, p66
      They had been used for centuries to justify or rationalize the behavior of that status and conversely to scapegoat and blame some other category of people.
  2. (transitive) To blame something for the problems of a given society without evidence to back up the claim.


Related terms

  • scapegoater
  • scapegoating (noun)
  • scapegoatism

See also

  • blame Canada
  • blameshift
  • escape
  • look for a dog to kick
  • stool pigeon, stoolie
  • whipping boy

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