Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



Feb 21, 2019
This week’s theme
Words with presidential connections

This week’s words
OK
sockdolager
teddy bear
watergate
throttlebottom

watergate
After resigning, Nixon making his farewell speech, accompanied by his daughter and son-in-law, 1974
Photo: Ollie Atkins

Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Watergate

PRONUNCIATION:
(WOH-tuhr-gayt)

MEANING:
noun: A scandal involving abuse of office, deceit, and cover-up.

ETYMOLOGY:
After the Watergate office and residential complex in Washington, DC. It was the site of a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in 1972 by people associated with US President Richard Nixon (1913-1994). The resulting scandal and cover-up led to Nixon’s resignation. Earliest documented use: 1972.

NOTES:
Watergate, a scandal of mammoth proportions, has given us a useful suffix (-gate) for describing many a scandal including gategate.

USAGE:
“[Thomas Donaldson] said the nature of Volkswagen’s scandal had few parallels: ‘I’ve never seen a corporate Watergate of this stripe.’”
Jena McGregor; VW’s Next CEO Faces Big Challenge; Los Angeles Times; Sep 27, 2015.

See more usage examples of Watergate in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
There is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some diehard's vote. -David Foster Wallace, novelist, essayist, and short story writer (21 Feb 1962-2008)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere

Donate

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2019 Wordsmith