Definition of scandal in English:



  • 1An action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage.

    ‘a bribery scandal involving one of his key supporters’
    • ‘It was finally hit by a series of scandals that involved both fraudulent personal enrichment and illegal party financing.’
    • ‘Despite a highly regulated market, financial scandals still happen in the UK.’
    • ‘After a number of scandals involving politician's exotic sex lives, a plain old case of bribery seems prosaic.’
    • ‘Does he feel people are naturally suspicious due to several high-profile scandals involving evangelists?’
    • ‘Could that be the reason for the various scandals involving public funds?’
    • ‘Frank turns in his badge to protest his being dragged into a political scandal involving the police commissioner and the commissioner's gay lover.’
    • ‘The party has also been involved in numerous financial and sexual scandals.’
    • ‘If you spend any time on the Internet in the U.S., it is almost impossible not to know about the scandal involving touch screen voting machines.’
    • ‘The code of conduct governing ministers' behaviour was drawn up after a series of scandals involving Tory ministers.’
    • ‘The local politician's comments have created a scandal within her party and one member of parliament has advised her to step down.’
    • ‘France is reeling from daily revelations about bribery and corruption scandals.’
    • ‘State subsidies have replaced donations in an effort to end the long series of scandals surrounding party finances.’
    • ‘Analysts, too, have grave concerns about the effect of expenses scandals on the public's attitude.’
    • ‘Financial scandals tend to involve politicians and businesspeople rather than celebrities.’
    • ‘At first glance, the spate of sex scandals involving sports stars appears to be nothing out of the ordinary.’
    • ‘Opinion polls suggest that voters are increasingly worried about the scandal and the economy, rather than terrorism.’
    • ‘There are no major events, very few scandals, and not many people are having parties.’
    • ‘Corruption scandals involving presidential aides have also drained his approval ratings.’
    • ‘All the doping scandals at the Games involved weightlifting.’
    • ‘This spectacular and much awaited artistic event almost generated a political scandal.’
    outrageous wrongdoing, outrageous behaviour, immoral behaviour, unethical behaviour, discreditable behaviour, shocking incident of events, shocking series of events, impropriety, misconduct, wrongdoing
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    1. 1.1The outrage or anger caused by a scandalous action or event.
      ‘divorce was cause for scandal on the island’
      • ‘Without a proper home to raise a child, parents, a husband or even a secure job, this young girl faced shame and scandal living with a relative who at times seemed more like tyrant than a disciplinarian.’
      • ‘These are speculations that stem from our knowledge of a more familiar side of scandal: lies, deceit and indignity.’
      • ‘It was nothing like that, of course, but it was worth the kick in the shin he got from Tori to see the mixed expression of disgust, disbelief, outrage and scandal on Teague's face - at one and the same time.’
      • ‘It is their responsibility to present a stage-managed event that is free from scandal.’
      • ‘They don't want to talk about the issues so they try to talk about scandal and events that are now years old.’
      • ‘Watching celebrity lives is almost exactly like watching soap operas, and in a sphere where scandal is a weekly event, a gay drug binge gone wrong is hardly worthy of note.’
      • ‘He must have shamed them terribly, not only causing scandal, but also in breaking a contract with another family.’
      shame, dishonour, disgrace, disrepute, discredit, infamy, ignominy, embarrassment
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    2. 1.2Rumor or malicious gossip about scandalous events or actions.
      ‘I know that you would want no scandal attached to her name’
      • ‘In retirement in Tiverton, Cowley became more and more concerned about her own reputation for respectability, and she worked hard to make sure that no breath of scandal hung over her life.’
      • ‘The Bill carries local humour, scandal and gossip from the past year.’
      • ‘Rasputin's unpopularity and her refusal to curb his increasingly degenerate behavior led to enormous scandal and vicious rumours.’
      • ‘Le Figaro was launched in 1854 as a weekly review of society gossip and scandal, ‘to recount Paris to Paris’.’
      • ‘Summer was a major flirt who thrived on scandal and gossip, and she was the type of self-proclaimed daredevil who'd try anything once.’
      • ‘They were a rich and important family, you see, and they couldn't stand to see any shame which could bring scandal for them.’
      • ‘Despite all of the shame, scandal and fraud surrounding the history of the conversion movement, to this day ex-gay ministries are still a very real faction of society.’
      • ‘Again, like today's, its doings were chronicled by an irreverent, iconoclastic press eager for celebrity gossip and social scandal.’
      • ‘Merry points out the role of gossip and scandal in social control, especially in bounded social systems where interdependence and ostracism costs are higher.’
      • ‘I take my seat at the convivial bar in the Queen's Grill Lounge and become enthralled by the idiosyncrasies of my ship-mates as they are narrated by that font of scandal and gossip, the bartender.’
      • ‘In 1810 he survived a frenzied attack by his valet, though scandal insisted that Cumberland had been the aggressor.’
      • ‘The reader with an eye for colourful detail and elegant prose, not to mention for racy scandal and rumour, will no doubt forgive the book's shortcomings.’
      • ‘As the awards ceremony approaches, there is always scandal and gossip.’
      • ‘How far are we complicit in the corruption of current affairs by our own viewing habits, by our love of gossip and scandal?’
      • ‘Remember to email me all your newsy bits, scandal and gossip.’
      • ‘There was talk of the weather, the crops, some gossip and scandal, some hunting and fishing news.’
      • ‘With juicy gossip and scandal about the rich and famous in Taiwan, the magazine took the country by storm, selling out in hours.’
      • ‘Oscar Wilde wrote that scandal is gossip made tedious by morality, and similarly witchcraft was magic made sinister by Christianity.’
      • ‘Now she's an object of pity and scandal in Sydney society, and she spills her feelings and facts to another cabined, cribbed and confined captive, her ex-teacher Miss Adie.’
      • ‘Few estates have a history as colourful as Mourne Park in Co Down, where gossip and scandal have been par for the course over the centuries.’
      malicious gossip, slander, libel, scandalmongering, calumny, defamation, aspersions, muckraking, smear campaign
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    3. 1.3[in singular]A state of affairs regarded as wrong or reprehensible and causing general public outrage or anger.
      ‘it's a scandal that many older patients are dismissed as untreatable’
      • ‘It is a scandal that there are more managers than beds.’
      • ‘It is a scandal that the industry has not resolved the problems of greyhound suffering.’
      • ‘It is a scandal that this has been prevented because of orders to meet Labour's targets.’
      • ‘It is a scandal that the Government has so badly underestimated the logistical difficulties of organising postal voting.’
      • ‘It is a scandal that so many of the cinema's greatest works remain unavailable on video’
      • ‘It is a scandal that shames the good name of noble Limerick.’
      • ‘It was a scandal of wasted potential then and it is a scandal of wasted potential now.’
      • ‘It is a scandal that it has taken until now for ministers to move.’
      • ‘He said it was a scandal that the party in Skipton should give such meagre aid to the organisation's funds.’
      • ‘‘It is a scandal that Scotland's schools are blighted by violence,’ he said.’
      • ‘‘It is a scandal that this Government took the best pensions system in Europe and turned it into one of the worst,’ he said.’
      • ‘It is a scandal the Executive is allowing it to go ahead.’
      • ‘The UN has long been criticised for its excessive bureaucracy; in normal times, it is a scandal and an extravagance - in time of emergency it is lethal.’
      • ‘It is a scandal that people die younger in the north, fewer young people go to university, and wages are lower.’
      • ‘He said it was a scandal that at a time when the Beladd Park houses were being built the Irish people had to cough up three times the average price to build the houses.’
      • ‘It is a scandal that there is no official monument to commemorate the contribution of women in the Second World War.’
      • ‘This is one of the most visible areas of the river and it is a scandal nothing has been done to enhance it.’
      • ‘I know that it was a scandal that before 1997 it was our country - Britain - that did least in Europe and as a result wasted the potential and talents of millions.’
      • ‘It is a scandal, in the fullest sense of that word, that those who call themselves Christian turn religion into an excuse for hatred, injustice and violence.’
      • ‘It is a scandal and a great sadness that Christianity, even from early times, has been marked by dissent and division.’
      disgrace, outrage, injustice
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Middle English (in the sense discredit to religion (by the reprehensible behavior of a religious person)): from Old French scandale, from ecclesiastical Latin scandalum cause of offense from Greek skandalon snare, stumbling block.