[ gal-ohz, -uhz ]
See synonyms for gallows on
noun,plural gal·lows·es, gal·lows.
  1. a wooden frame, consisting of a crossbeam on two uprights, on which condemned persons are executed by hanging.

  2. a similar structure from which something is suspended.

  1. execution by hanging: a crime deserving of the gallows.

  2. Also called gallows bitts .Nautical. a support on the deck of a vessel, generally one of two or more, consisting of a crosspiece on two uprights, for spars, boats, etc.

Origin of gallows

before 900; Middle English galwes,Old English g(e)algan, plural of g(e)alga gallows; cognate with German Galgen

Words Nearby gallows Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use gallows in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for gallows


/ (ˈɡæləʊz) /

nounplural -lowses or -lows
  1. a wooden structure usually consisting of two upright posts with a crossbeam from which a rope is suspended, used for hanging criminals

  2. any timber structure resembling this, such as (in Australia and New Zealand) a frame for hoisting up the bodies of slaughtered cattle

  1. the gallows execution by hanging

Origin of gallows

C13: from Old Norse galgi, replacing Old English gealga; related to Old High German galgo

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