Scandal is disgraceful events or nasty gossip about people's private lives, like the scandal that erupted when you were seen at the mall with your best friend's girlfriend.

Just because there's a scandal, it doesn't mean it's always true — being seen with your friend's girl? What the gossips didn't know it that you were buying his birthday present. Some scandals, though, involve public figures who have been found guilty. For example, if a politician is found guilty of taking bribes, that's a scandal that will rock your town, causing outrage not to mention the end of that politician's career.

Definitions of scandal

n a disgraceful event

Teapot Dome scandal
a government scandal involving a former United States Navy oil reserve in Wyoming that was secretly leased to a private oil company in 1921; became symbolic of the scandals of the Harding administration
Watergate scandal
a political scandal involving abuse of power and bribery and obstruction of justice; led to the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974
skeleton, skeleton in the closet, skeleton in the cupboard
a scandal that is kept secret
Type of:
an event causing distress or pain

n disgraceful gossip about the private lives of other people

dirt, malicious gossip
Type of:
comment, gossip, scuttlebutt
a report (often malicious) about the behavior of other people

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