gallows

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English galwes, galewes, galowe, galwe, from Old English ġealga, from Proto-Germanic *galgô, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰalgʰ-, *ǵʰalg- (long switch, rod, shaft, pole, perch). Compare West Frisian galge, Dutch galg, German Galgen, Danish galge, Icelandic gálgi.

Noun[edit]

gallows (plural gallows or gallowses)

  1. Wooden framework on which persons are put to death by hanging.
    • 1728, Thomas Otway, “The Atheist, or, the Second Part of the Solider's Fortune”, in The Works of Mr. Thomas Otway[1], volume 2, page 37:
      No, Sir, 'tis fear of Hanging. Who would not ſteal, or do Murder, every time his Fingers itch'd at it, were it not for fear of the Gallows?
  2. (colloquial, obsolete) A wretch who deserves to be hanged.
  3. (printing, obsolete) The rest for the tympan when raised.
  4. (colloquial, obsolete) suspenders; braces
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Verb[edit]

gallows

  1. third-person singular simple present indicative form of gallow