Meaning of “scandal” in the English Dictionary

"scandal" in British English

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uk /ˈskæn.dəl/ us /ˈskæn.dəl/

B2 [ C or U ] (an action or event that causes) a public feeling of shock and strong moral disapproval:

Their affair caused/created a scandal in the office.
The scandal broke (= became public knowledge) right at the beginning of the Conservative Party Conference.
If there is the slightest suggestion/hint of scandal, the public will no longer trust us.

[ U ] reports about actions or events that cause shock and disapproval:

Some magazines contain nothing but scandal and gossip.
to spread scandal

[ S ] a situation that is extremely bad:

[ + (that) ] It's a scandal (that) children are treated in this way.

More examples

  • It was a political scandal which damaged a lot of reputations.
  • This latest scandal has raised doubts about his suitability for the post.
  • This latest episode in the fraud scandal has shocked a lot of people.
  • So could this scandal bring down the government?
  • A drugs scandal could end her career overnight.

(Definition of “scandal” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"scandal" in American English

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scandalnoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈskæn·dəl/

an action or event that is considered immoral, causing the public to react with shock or anger:

[ C ] People withdrew their money from banks caught up in the scandal.
adjective us /ˈskæn·dəl·əs/

She has a reputation for spreading scandalous gossip.

(Definition of “scandal” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"scandal" in Business English

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uk /ˈskændəl/ us

[ C or U ] an action or event that shocks people and makes them feel disapproval:

cause/create (a) scandal The politician's behaviour caused a scandal.
a scandal breaks/erupts When the subprime loan scandal broke, the value of houses fell.
He still gets paid, despite leaving under a cloud of scandal.
be caught up/involved in a scandal
a financial/mis-selling/corruption scandal

[ U ] reports about actions or events that cause shock and disapproval:

There was gossip and scandal, but it never affected his business dealings.
it's a scandal

used for saying that you think a situation is very bad and should not be allowed or accepted:

It's a scandal that employees could be treated in this way.

(Definition of “scandal” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)