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See also: Gallows


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  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɡæləʊz/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɡæloʊz/
  • (file)

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.


gallows (plural gallows or gallowses)

  1. Wooden framework on which persons are put to death by hanging. [from 1300s]
    • 1728, Otway, Thomas, “The Atheist, or, the Second Part of the Solider's Fortune”, in The Works of Mr. Thomas Otway, volume 2, London, 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.
  5. Any contrivance with posts and crossbeam for suspending objects.
  6. The main frame of a beam engine.
Derived terms[edit]

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Etymology 2[edit]



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