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ducking stool

a former instrument of punishment consisting of a chair in which an offender was tied to be plunged into water.
Origin of ducking stool
First recorded in 1590-1600 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ducking stool
Historical Examples
  • Stop her mouth, some of you; or, if she will scream, take her to the ducking stool.

    Legends of Longdendale Thomas Middleton
  • In 1741, old Rugby paid 2s 4d for a chair for the ducking stool.

    Woman, Church & State Matilda Joslyn Gage
  • The ducking stool was used for punishing common scolds, refractory women and dishonest tradesmen, especially brewers and bakers.

  • Such characters were also taken to the ducking stool and thoroughly doused in the water.

    Women of England, Volume 9 (of 10) Burleigh James Bartlett
  • The suggestive and usual place of storing the ducking stool, when not in use, was the church-yard.

    Woman, Church & State Matilda Joslyn Gage
  • Up flew the beam of the ducking stool, reliev'd of their weight, and down with a splash went the pickpocket at the far end.

    The Splendid Spur Arthur T. Quiller Couch
  • This ducking stool was intended for the special benefit of vixens and scolding wives.

  • The ducking stool on Herring Creek had just been equipped, the year before, with new irons and so was in good repair.

  • The ducking stool seems to have been placed on the lowest and most contempt-bearing stage among English instruments of punishment.

  • The early Virginians did not hesitate to subject gossiping women to the harsh punishment of the ducking stool.

    Patrician and Plebeian Thomas J. Wertenbaker
British Dictionary definitions for ducking stool

ducking stool

(history) a chair or stool used for the punishment of offenders by plunging them into water
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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