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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
2. a gateway leading to the edge of a body of water, as at a landing.
Wa•ter•gate(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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).
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited