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For other uses, see Scandal (disambiguation).

A scandal is a widely publicized allegation or set of allegations that damages (or tries to damage) the reputation of an institution, individual or creed.[dubious ] A scandal may be based on true or false allegations or a mixture of both.

From the Greek σκάνδαλον (skandalon), "a trap or stumbling-block,"[1] the metaphor is that wrong conduct can impede or "trip" people's trust or faith.[2]

Some scandals are broken by whistleblowers who reveal wrongdoing within organizations or groups, such as Deep Throat (William Mark Felt) during the 1970s Watergate scandal. Sometimes an attempt to cover up a possible scandal ignites a greater scandal when the cover-up fails.

Western world[edit]

In the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, scandals, particularly political ones, are often referred to by adding the suffix "-gate" to a word connected with the events, recalling the Watergate scandal, such as "Nannygate".

Old Bibles[edit]

The word scandal is used a few times in several bibles like the Amplified Bible,[3] the Douay–Rheims Bible,[4] the Darby Translation,[5] the Wycliffe Bible[6] to mean causing someone to commit a sin. For example, Exodus 23:33 and Matthew 18:6 in the Douay-Rheims Bible:

Exodus 23:33 "Let them not dwell in thy land, lest perhaps thy make thee sin against me, if thou serve their god: which undoubtedly will be a scandal to thee."[7]

Matthew 18:6 "But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea."[8]

List of scandals[edit]


  1. ^ A Greek–English Lexicon
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary
  3. ^ The Amplified Bible in Leviticus 19:16, John 6:61,1 Corinthians 1:23
  4. ^ Douay-Rheims Bible in Exodus 23:33, Matthew 5:29, Matthew 18:6, Luke 17:2, John 6:62
  5. ^ The Darby Translation in Deuteronomy 22:17
  6. ^ Wycliffe Bible in Proverbs 18:3, Jeremiah 23:40
  7. ^ Douay-Rheims Bible. New York: P. J. KENEDY & SONS. Public Domain.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ Douay-Rheims Bible. New York: P. J. KENEDY & SONS. Public Domain.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]

  • Quotations related to Scandal at Wikiquote
  • The dictionary definition of scandal at Wiktionary