AskDefine | Define scandal

Dictionary Definition



1 disgraceful gossip about the private lives of other people [syn: dirt, malicious gossip]
2 a disgraceful event [syn: outrage]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Old Northern French escandle, from ecclesiastical Latin scandalum, from Ancient Greek σκάνδαλον.



  1. Religious discredit; an act or behaviour which brings a religion into discredit.
  2. Something which hinders acceptance of religious ideas or behaviour; a stumbling-block or offense.
  3. Damage to personal reputation.
    The incident brought considerable scandal to his family.
  4. An incident or event that brings disgrace, or damages the reputation of the persons or organization involved.
    Their affair was reported as a scandal by most tabloids.
  5. Moral outrage; offence to decency.
    When their behaviour was made public it caused a great scandal.
  6. Defamatory talk; gossip.
    According to village scandal, they weren't even married.


incident that brings disgrace
  • Croatian: skandal
  • Danish: skandale
  • Finnish: skandaali
  • German: Skandal
  • Hungarian: botrány
  • Italian: scandalo
  • Swedish: skandal

Extensive Definition

A scandal is a widely publicized incident that involves allegations of wrongdoing, disgrace, or moral outrage. A scandal may be based on reality, the product of false allegations, or a mixture of both.
Some scandals are broken by whistleblowers who reveal wrongdoing within organizations or groups, most notably Deep Throat (William Mark Felt) during the 1970s Watergate scandal that involved President Richard Nixon. Falsely alleged scandals can lead to witch-hunts against the innocent. Sometimes an attempt to cover up a scandal ignites a greater scandal when the cover-up fails. Classes of scandals include:

Western world

The United States in the 1950s was swept by a wave of game show scandals. Another major type of scandal is a corporate, especially those that involve accounting. A wave of such scandals swept American companies in 2002. Nineteenth-century Western society's Seven Social Scandals were fraud, bankruptcy, unwed pregnancy, adultery, homosexuality, divorce, and illegitimacy. In the United States, scandals are often referred to with a -gate suffix, particularly political ones.
scandal in Arabic: فضيحة
scandal in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Скандал
scandal in Czech: Skandál
scandal in Danish: Skandale
scandal in German: Skandal
scandal in Spanish: Escándalo
scandal in Esperanto: Skandalo
scandal in French: Scandale
scandal in Indonesian: Skandal
scandal in Italian: Scandalo
scandal in Hungarian: Botrány
scandal in Dutch: Schandaal
scandal in Japanese: 不祥事
scandal in Norwegian: Skandale
scandal in Polish: Skandal
scandal in Russian: Скандал
scandal in Swedish: Skandal
scandal in Vietnamese: Scandal
scandal in Chinese: 醜聞

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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