gib·​bet | \ ˈji-bət How to pronounce gibbet (audio) \

Definition of gibbet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : an upright post with a projecting arm for hanging the bodies of executed criminals as a warning


gibbeted; gibbeting; gibbets

Definition of gibbet (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to expose to infamy or public scorn
b : to hang on a gibbet
2 : to execute by hanging on a gibbet

Examples of gibbet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Once again there are gibbet cages and skull racks on display at Tyburn, but the medieval barbarity is compounded by entirely modern displays of wealth and power, their effects felt all the way up and down the social scale. Tom Shippey, WSJ, 14 Jan. 2022 Over 1,000 angry citizens rampaged the city; within days, hundreds were arrested and more than a dozen were executed, their bodies displayed on gibbets. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, 1 May 2017

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

First Known Use of gibbet


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for gibbet


Middle English gibet, from Anglo-French

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The first known use of gibbet was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near gibbet

gibber plain



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Cite this Entry

“Gibbet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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