a disgraceful or discreditable action, circumstance, etc.
an offense caused by a fault or misdeed.
damage to reputation; public disgrace.
defamatory talk; malicious gossip.
a person whose conduct brings disgrace or offense.
verb (used with object), scandaled, scandaling or (especially British) scandalled, scandalling.
British Dialect. to defame (someone) by spreading scandal.
Obsolete. to disgrace.

1175–1225; < Late Latin scandalum < Late Greek skándalon snare, cause of moral stumbling; replacing Middle English scandle < Old French (north) escandle < Late Latin, as above

miniscandal, noun
superscandal, noun

3. discredit, dishonor, shame, disrepute, opprobrium, ignominy. 4. slander, calumny, aspersion, obloquy. See gossip.

4. honor, praise. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
scandal (ˈskændəl)
1.  a disgraceful action or event: his negligence was a scandal
2.  censure or outrage arising from an action or event
3.  a person whose conduct causes reproach or disgrace
4.  malicious talk, esp gossip about the private lives of other people
5.  law a libellous action or statement
6.  to disgrace
7.  to scandalize
[C16: from Late Latin scandalum stumbling block, from Greek skandalon a trap]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1580s, "discredit caused by irreligious conduct," from M.Fr. scandale, from L.L. scandalum "cause for offense, stumbling block, temptation," from Gk. skandalon "a trap or snare laid for an enemy," in N.T., metaphorically as "a stumbling block, offense;" originally "trap with a springing device," from
PIE *skand- "jump" (cf. Gk. skandalizein "to make to stumble, give offense to" someone; see scan; cf. also slander). Attested from early 13c., but the modern word is a reborrowing. Meaning "malicious gossip" is from 1590s; sense of "person whose conduct is a disgrace" is from 1630s. Scandalize (late 15c.) originally meant "make a public scandal of;" sense of "shock by doing something improper" first recorded 1640s. Scandal sheet "sensational newspaper" is from 1939.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
And he wishes he'd handled the scandal with more skill.
Today many believe it was only a matter of time before a scandal erupted.
It remains to be seen whether that will be enough to distance him from a
  scandal that clearly has a long way yet to run.
Their occupants were lucky that the scandal broke before the inevitable next
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