pillory was our Word of the Day on 12/03/2017. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
In days gone by, criminals who got caught might well have found themselves in the stocks (which held the feet or both feet and hands) or a pillory. Both of those forms of punishment - and the words that name them - have been around since the Middle Ages. We latched onto "pillory" from the Anglo-French pilori (which has the same meaning as our English term), but the exact origins of the French term are uncertain. For centuries, "pillory" referred only to the wooden frame used to hold a ne'er-do-well, but by the early 1600s, folks had turned the word into a verb for the act of putting someone in a pillory. Within a century, they had further expanded the verb to cover any process that led to as much public humiliation as being pilloried.
Origin and Etymology of pillory
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
Examples of pillory in a Sentence
The press pilloried the judge for her decision.
Recent Examples of pillory from the Web
Michelle Obama was both praised and pilloried for her sensible shoes.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who spent years under house arrest and now heads the civilian government, has been pilloried internationally for defending the military, but remains Myanmar’s most popular politician.
Franco is pilloried for his relatively mild offenses, but the openly lascivious Thompson is readily forgiven because… an old black man harassing a group of largely white women would be smiled upon in America?
The Rams no longer are mercilessly pilloried for selecting quarterback Jared Goff with the No.
Then add the Sunday evening institution of 60 Minutes, which also pilloried the role of Rep. Tom Marino, a Pennsylvania Republican who was Trump's nominee to head the DEA.
During Ahok’s campaign for governor, Islamist activists pilloried him for his religion.
Overtaking her center-right bloc was Alternative for Germany (AfD), the nationalist, anti-immigrant party that has pilloried Merkel for her decision in 2015 not to close the country's borders to about a million refugees seeking entry into Germany.
Suddenly, Hope dropped like a rock in the polls as she was pilloried in the media for dictatorial tendencies and excessive arrogance, a space that heretofore had been Abe’s exclusive turf.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pillory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of pillory
PILLORY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of pillory for English Language Learners
: to publicly criticize (someone) in a very harsh way
PILLORY Defined for Kids
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