1

gallows

play
noun gal·lows \ˈga-(ˌ)lōz, -ləz, in sense 3 also -ləs\

Definition of gallows

plural

gallows

or

gallowses

  1. 1a :  a frame usually of two upright posts and a transverse beam from which criminals are hanged —called also gallows treeb :  the punishment of hanging

  2. 2 :  a structure consisting of an upright frame with a crosspiece

  3. 3 :  suspender 2a

Examples of gallows in a Sentence

  1. He was sentenced to death on the gallows.

Recent Examples of gallows from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gallows'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of gallows

Middle English galwes, galwes, plural of galwe, going back to Old English galga, gealga, going back to Germanic *galgōn “pole, stake, pole on which a condemned person was hung” (whence Old Saxon galgo “gallows, stake,” Old High German galga, galgo, Old Norse galgi, Gothic galga “stake, cross”), going back to dialectal Indo-European *ǵholgh-, whence also Lithuanian žalgà “thin stake” and perhaps Armenian jałk


2

gallows

adjective gal·lows

Definition of gallows

  1. :  deserving the gallows

Recent Examples of gallows from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gallows'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of gallows

15th century



GALLOWS Defined for English Language Learners

gallows

play
noun

Definition of gallows for English Language Learners

  • : a structure on which a criminal who has been sentenced to death is killed by being hanged


GALLOWS Defined for Kids

gallows

play
noun gal·lows \ˈga-lōz\

Definition of gallows for Students

plural

gallows

or

gallowses

  1. :  a structure from which criminals are hanged


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