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English definition of “sacrificial lamb”

sacrificial lamb

noun [C usually singular]    
someone or something that is given to people in authority and is expected to be harmed or destroyed, especially in order to prevent other people or things from being harmed or destroyed: We knew the department would be a sacrificial lamb when the time came to cut staff.Blaming and accusing
(Definition of sacrificial lamb noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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