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[skan-dl] /ˈskæn dl/
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
Related forms
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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Examples for scandal
  • 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 earthquake.
  • But the scandal increased fado's appeal, leading to the publication of its first sheet music.
  • Political scandal has come crashing into the digital age.
  • There was simply nothing there it was a manufactured scandal.
  • The ensuing scandal made her something of a pariah to the establishment.
  • Hud scandal controversy concerning low income housing money to selected contractors.
  • This resulted in a scandal that was covered in the national media.
British Dictionary definitions for scandal


a disgraceful action or event his negligence was a scandal
censure or outrage arising from an action or event
a person whose conduct causes reproach or disgrace
malicious talk, esp gossip about the private lives of other people
(law) a libellous action or statement
verb (transitive) (obsolete)
to disgrace
to scandalize
Derived Forms
scandalous, adjective
scandalously, adverb
scandalousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin scandalum stumbling block, from Greek skandalon a trap
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scandal
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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