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Also found in: Idioms.


n. Informal
The shifting of responsibility or blame to another: "smothered in avalanches of recriminations and orgies of buck-passing" (Forbes).

[buck (from a poker player's passing the marker, or buck, to the next player when not wanting to deal).]

buck′-pass′er n.
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.
References in periodicals archive ?
He concludes that for this reason the buck-passer is off the hook.
However, his attitude of repeating with his head held high that he did not know of the existence of the money provided for him itself proves he is a buck-passer.
One buck-passer from Sheffield even tried to blame his dog, by saying the television was only on for the benefit of his pet and that he never watched it.
Rutland describes Madison as a "buck-passer" in his handling of the court martial report on General James Wilkinson, "a gullible pawn' in approving the use of public funds to purchase the Henry papers, which he believed to prove Federalist leaders treasonable, reckless in accepting at face value the Cadore letter on Napoleon's response to Macon's bill no.
Note that the Conceptual Link thesis is readily available to buck-passing versions BP-2 and BP-3 (15) (and, as the quotation above shows, Scanlon himself appears to subscribe to it), except that the buck-passer denies that it applies to the most general property of being good or being of value itself.
I voiced my fears when manager Kevin Keegan brought this serial buck-passer into the same team as Nicolas Anelka.
But mostly I love the fact that ordinary people are over-riding corporate buck-passers and setting up their own CCTV to catch the lowest of the low: care workers who steal from pensioners' purses or attack defenceless, mentally ill patients out of sadistic malice.
Moreover, Brewer argues that naturalistic buck-passers (like Scanlon) give an uninformative account of ethical attitudes like admiration and respect, which also require irreducible reference the agent's "seamless" evaluative apprehension.
Brentano and the Buck-Passers, SVEN DANIELSSON and JONAS OLSON
It couldn't happen to a nicer shower of buck-passers.
The point is, with some notable exceptions, many managers are prize buck-passers who would knife their granny to save their own skins.
He branded them a bunch of "buck-passers" and accused them of taking a derby win for granted.