an instrument of execution consisting of a wooden frame from which a condemned person is executed by hanging
a frame from which is suspended the rope with which criminals are executed by hanging, usually consisting of two upright posts and a crossbeam on the top; also, a like frame for suspending anything
a wretch who deserves the gallows
the rest for the tympan when raised
a pair of suspenders or braces
Origin: [OE. galwes, pl., AS. galga, gealga, gallows, cross; akin to D. galg gallows, OS. & OHG. galgo, G. galgen, Icel. glgi, Sw. & Dan. galge, Goth. galga a cross. Etymologically and historically considered, gallows is a noun in the plural number, but it is used as a singular, and hence is preceded by a; as, a gallows.]
A gallows is a frame, typically wooden, used for execution by hanging, or by means to torture before execution, as was used when being hanged, drawn and quartered. The gallows took its form from the Roman Furca when Constantine the Great abolished crucifixion.
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
gal′us, n. a wooden frame on which criminals are executed by hanging—a pl. used as a sing., and having (Shak.) the double pl. 'gallowses' (used also coll. originally for a pair of braces for supporting the trousers): (Shak.) a wretch who deserves the gallows: any contrivance with posts and cross-beam for suspending objects: a rest for the tympan of a hand printing-press: the main frame of a beam-engine.—ns. Gall′ows-bird, a person who deserves hanging; Gall′ows-bitts, a frame fixed in a ship's deck to support spare spars.—adj. Gall′ows-free, free from danger of hanging.—n. Gall′owsness (slang), recklessness.—adj. Gall′ows-ripe, ready for the gallows.—n. Gall′ows-tree, a tree used as a gallows.—Cheat the gallows, to escape hanging though deserving it. [M. E. galwes (pl.)—A.S. galga; Ger. galgen.]
Song lyrics by gallows -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by gallows on the Lyrics.com website.
The numerical value of gallows in Chaldean Numerology is: 8
The numerical value of gallows in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8
Sample Sentences & Example Usage
If you are an executioner, don't expect to have a friend closer than a gallows!
When the judicial magistrate came to the hanging, these guys tried to make him (Basit) stand at the gallows ... it wasn't possible, so the magistrate postponed the hanging.
(Weir) really got this guy with this great sense of humor, really smart and really capable guy, but somebody who has that great kind of gallows humor that people who do this kind of work tend to have.
Images & Illustrations of gallows
Translations for gallows
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- бесилка, бесилоBulgarian
- κρεμάλα, αγχόνηGreek
- pendumilo, pendigiloEsperanto
- horca, patíbuloSpanish
- چوبه دارPersian
- potence, gibetFrench
- galgeWestern Frisian
- patibolo, forcaItalian
- arbor, gabalus, patibulumLatin
- GaalgenLuxembourgish, Letzeburgesch
- cadafalso, forcaPortuguese
- ве̏шала, vešala, шибеница, вје̏шала, vjȅšala, šibenicaSerbo-Croatian
- giá xử giảo, giá treo cổVietnamese
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