1. the object of blame, singled out for punishment






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used a scapegoat to avoid trouble

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A 'scapegoat' is someone who is blamed or punished for the mistakes made or wrongs done by others usually because it is more convenient to blame them than the real people at fault or because it is faster. "John, not being able to run away as fast as the others became the scapegoat of the group." "Minister Rourke was an easy scapegoat from much of the parties shady dealings." This is quite a formal expression often used in reporting and the media.

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  1. To avoid detention, the class needed to find a scapegoat to blame for the mess.
  2. My youngest child has become a bit of a scapegoat for my older children's bad behaviour. They blame him on everything.

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  1. The new employee was used as a scapegoat for the company's low sales.
  2. A good team leader would take responsibility for their shortcoming and not use their teammates as scapegoats.

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