- a wooden framework erected on a post, with holes for securing the head and hands, formerly used to expose an offender to public derision.
- to set in the pillory.
- to expose to public derision, ridicule, or abuse: The candidate mercilessly pilloried his opponent.
Origin of pillory
Examples from the Web for pillory
Compare the British pillory of Tebbit with the reaction in India to the Kashmiri students.India Row Evokes Cricket’s Ultranationalist Tebbit Test
March 23, 2014
“Rails” and “lacerate,” two other words swiftly elected for pillory, were classic Tejpal, overblown, mannered, theatrical.The Fall of India’s Conscience
November 25, 2013
And because the pillory of a bad book is as culturally stimulating as the lauding of a good book.Letter to a Young Critic: William Giraldi Defends True Criticism
September 5, 2012
The pillory stood not far away, and the May-pole is also mentioned.Yorkshire Painted And Described
Of course when they saw me I was not on my pedestal, I was in the pillory.De Profundis
When they had agreed, it appeared that one of his ears was nailed at the pillory in Bristol.
"He'll put you in the pillory of his verse for this," laughed Collis.The Lion's Skin
In fact, the Nottingham cuck-stool was similar to a pillory.Bygone Punishments
- a wooden framework into which offenders were formerly locked by the neck and wrists and exposed to public abuse and ridicule
- exposure to public scorn or abuse
- to expose to public scorn or ridicule
- to punish by putting in a pillory
Word Origin and History for pillory
late 13c. (attested in Anglo-Latin from late 12c.), from Old French pilori "pillory" (mid-12c.), related to Medieval Latin pilloria, of uncertain origin, perhaps a diminutive of Latin pila "pillar, stone barrier" (see pillar), but OED finds this proposed derivation "phonologically unsuitable."
c.1600, from pillory (n.). Figurative sense of "expose publicly to ridicule or abuse" is from 1690s. Related: Pilloried.