a combining form extracted from Watergate, occurring as the final element in journalistic coinages, usually nonce words, that name scandals resulting from concealed crime or other alleged improprieties in government or business: Koreagate.
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for -gate
n combining form
indicating a person or thing that has been the cause of, or is associated with, a public scandalIrangate; Camillagate
Word Origin for -gate
C20: on the analogy of Watergate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for -gate
suffix attached to any word to indicate "scandal involving," 1973, abstracted from Watergate, the Washington, D.C., building complex, home of the National Headquarters of the Democratic Party when it was burglarized June 17, 1972, by operatives later found to be working for the staff and re-election campaign of U.S. President Richard Nixon.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper