- a wooden frame, consisting of a crossbeam on two uprights, on which condemned persons are executed by hanging.
- a similar structure from which something is suspended.
- execution by hanging: a crime deserving of the gallows.
- 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
Examples from the Web for gallows
Gallows humor has always served him and other activists well; it had to in such dark times.Gay Activist David Mixner: I Mercy Killed 8 People
October 29, 2014
Whichever of the groups was in power would be marching the other to the gallows.Saddam’s Former Deputy, the Red Skull of Baghdad, Still at Large in Iraq and Allied With ISIS
Jacob Siegel, Christopher Dickey
July 21, 2014
But when the people we put in power strung him up on the gallows his last words proved almost true.Iraq Is Not Our War Anymore. Let It Be Iran’s Problem.
July 17, 2014
The last tally of children on death row, in 2011, estimated at least 143 child offenders were awaiting the gallows in Iran.
Languishing in a prison cell in southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz, 21-year-old Razie Ebrahimi awaits her date with the gallows.
Hurry on the accursed witches to the gallows, ere they do more mischief!Main Street
Yet, who would by his evidence send a brother to the gallows?The Story of the Malakand Field Force
Sir Winston S. Churchill
The street frightened her, since it led either to the gallows or to the river.
The fear of death paralysed her efforts to escape the gallows.
In this country the gallows is chiefly remarkable for the number of persons who escape it.The Devil's Dictionary
- a wooden structure usually consisting of two upright posts with a crossbeam from which a rope is suspended, used for hanging criminals
- any timber structure resembling this, such as (in Australia and New Zealand) a frame for hoisting up the bodies of slaughtered cattle
- the gallows execution by hanging
Word Origin and History for gallows
c.1300, plural of Middle English galwe "gallows" (mid-13c.), from Old Norse galgi "gallows," or from Old English galga (Mercian), gealga (West Saxon) "gallows;" all from Proto-Germanic *galgon- "pole" (cf. Old Frisian galga, Middle High German galge "gallows, cross," German Galgen "gallows," Gothic galga "cross"), from PIE *ghalgh- "branch, rod" (cf. Lithuanian zalga "pole, perch," Armenian dzalk "pole"). In Old English, also used of the cross of the crucifixion. Plural because made of two poles.