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 (wô′tĕr-gāt′, wŏt′ər-)
A series of scandals occurring during the Nixon administration in which members of the executive branch organized illegal political espionage against their perceived opponents and were charged with violation of the public trust, bribery, contempt of Congress, and attempted obstruction of justice.

[After Watergate, a building complex in Washington, DC, the site of a burglary (1972) that gave rise to the scandals.]


1. (Historical Terms) an incident during the 1972 US presidential campaign, when a group of agents employed by the re-election organization of President Richard Nixon were caught breaking into the Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate building, Washington, DC. The consequent political scandal was exacerbated by attempts to conceal the fact that senior White House officials had approved the burglary, and eventually forced the resignation of President Nixon
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) any similar public scandal, esp involving politicians or a possible cover-up. See also -gate

wa′ter gate`

2. a gateway leading to the edge of a body of water, as at a landing.


(ˈwɔ tərˌgeɪt, ˈwɒt ər-)

1. a political scandal during the 1972 presidential campaign, arising from a break-in at Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate building complex in Washington, D.C., and culminating in the resignation of President Nixon.
2. any scandal involving corruption and other abuses of power, and an attempt to conceal these activities from the public.


The scandal over the bugging of Democratic headquarters during the 1972 election campaign, exposed by campaigning journalists. President Nixon was forced to resign in 1974 after admitting false denial of knowledge (1974).
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Watergate - a political scandal involving abuse of power and bribery and obstruction of justiceWatergate - a political scandal involving abuse of power and bribery and obstruction of justice; led to the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974


nWatergate no art, → die Watergate-Affäre
References in periodicals archive ?
* Do you believe that Watergate did Long-term damage to Americans' faith in their government?
This year will mark the 40th anniversary of the break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters by yeggs with White House connections that provoked the Watergate scandal and led to Richard M.
America needs a full-time president and a full-time Congress." It could have neither, with the president preoccupied by Watergate and the Congress concerned with impeachment, he said.
Al Amaan, like Watergate owned by Andy Stewart and the mount of Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth, will also represent Nicholls, but the journey home could be rather less fraught for the champion trainer if the horse handed to Browne is triumphant.
Work begins on January 18, on renewing an essential gas main in Lower Watergate Street - the latest phase of the city's pounds 20m renewal programme driven by the Health and Safety Executive.
In response to a request from Mellinger, the Archives unit in charge of the Watergate files has proposed conducting a scientific test that could yield information on what was said during the missing minutes.
A little late, and a little tired, we arrived at The Watergate Bay Hotel complex, a couple of miles outside the famous surfing citadel, and hastily rearranged a booking for dinner at The Brasserie, one of the hotel's two main eateries, before heading to our room.
THRILLING EXPERIENCE: A surfer rides the waves on the Cornish coast at Watergate Bay and Xtreme Academy * SEA AND SANDS: The coast, above, at Watergate Bay Hotel and Xtreme Academy in Cornwall; right, the complex goes right down to the beach
In 1974 Nixon was eventually forced to resign over Watergate after it was revealed to be part of a secret Republican party campaign to illegally bug their Democrat rivals.
Rosen (a Washington correspondent for Fox News) presents a biography of Richard Nixon's Attorney General John Mitchell, whose conviction in the Watergate cover-up trial provided the dubious honor of being the highest-ranking US government official to have to serve time in prison.
The project was acquired for $6 million in November 1984 from Watergate Ltd.
American Spy reportedly reveals details on events including Hunt's orchestration of a successful 1954 coup in Guatemala as well as the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and his organisation of the break-in at the Democratic National Committee's Watergate headquarters in 1972.