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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 ?
The tapes' existence came to light during the Watergate scandal of 1973-74, when the system was mentioned during the televised testimony of White House aide Alexander Butterfield before the Senate Watergate Committee.
Caldwell Butler, who was a key player in the Watergate scandal.
Beyond the Watergate gets underway on Wednesday 27 July, and will feature an evening of food, drink and entertainment at the museum once a month, targeted at adult visitors.
The Watergate features several advantages over other stormwater automatic retractable screens.
Police cordoned off an area of Watergate Park, which is popular with dog walkers, after the attack was reported at 3.
Edgar Hoover's death only weeks before the Watergate break-in occurred.
In his book, Dean states that he spent four years listening to 634 tapes that previously had not been transcribed by Kutler, and proceeded to offer more details about the Watergate coverup, explaining that new technologies enabled him to hear things that others had missed.
Nixon's immediate problem that October was Archibald Cox, the Watergate special prosecutor Nixon himself had appointed, who was demanding that the president release tape recordings that he, Nixon, had made of his conversations in the Oval Office.
The point-and-click 80s adventure game Shadowgate came up, and I said, 'Hey, there should be a sequel called Watergate," Kim said.
The second was Eugene Bachinski, who had police sources who provided Woodward notes from the address books of two of the Watergate burglars, including the curious notations under conspirator E.
Readers who deem the book's liberties too free can stick to the tonnage of Watergate memoirs, transcripts, investigative reports and marginalia.
Forty years after the break-in, Watergate remains the decisive, divisive issue.