gallows

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n gallows an instrument of execution consisting of a wooden frame from which a condemned person is executed by hanging
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Gallows 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. "So they hanged Haman on the gallows .""If I hang, I'll make a fat pair of gallows .""O, there were desolation of gaolers and gallowses !"
    • Gallows A pair of suspenders or braces. "At length him nailéd on a gallow tree ."
    • Gallows A wretch who deserves the gallows.
    • Gallows (Print) The rest for the tympan when raised.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n gallows A wooden frame on which criminals are executed by hanging, usually consisting of two posts and a cross-beam on the top, or of a single post with a projecting arm, from which the criminal is suspended by a rope fastened about his neck: a plural used as a singular, and having the double plural gallowses.
    • n gallows A similar contrivance for suspending objects.
    • n gallows Nautical, same as gallows-bitts.
    • n gallows In coal-mining, a set of timbers consisting of two upright pieces or props and a bar or crown-tree laid across their tops so as to support the roof in a level or in any other excavation.
    • n gallows In printing, a low trestle attached to old forms of hand printing-presses, to sustain the tympan.
    • n gallows A central core formed of several cornstalks interlaced diagonally (while uncut) to serve as a stool or support for cut maize which is placed about it in forming a shock.
    • n gallows plural A pair of braces for supporting the trousers. Also galluses.
    • n gallows A wretch who deserves to be hanged; a gallows-bird.
    • gallows Reckless; dashing; showy.
    • gallows Very; exceedingly: as, gallows poor.
    • n gallows Specifically, on the great sheep-raising stations of Australasia, a high wooden frame on which the carcasses of butchered cattle or sheep are suspended; a meat-gallows.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Gallows gal′us 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)
    • n Gallows gal′us (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
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Quotations

  • Proverb
    Proverb
    “All criminals turn preachers under the gallows.”
  • French Proverb
    French Proverb
    “Save a thief from the gallows and he will cut your throat.”
  • Cardinal De Richelieu
    Cardinal De Richelieu
    “Give me six lines written by the most honorable person alive, and I shall find enough in them to condemn them to the gallows.”
  • Richard Brautigan
    Richard Brautigan
    “If you get hung up on everybody else's hang-ups, then the whole world's going to be nothing more than one huge gallows.”
  • Edmund Burke
    Edmund%20Burke
    “In the groves of their academy, at the end of every vista, you see nothing but the gallows.”

Idioms

Gallows humour - If people try to make fun or laugh when things are very frightening, dangerous, life-threatening or hopeless, it is gallows humour (or "gallows humor").
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. galwes, pl., AS. galga, gealga, gallows, cross; akin to D. galg, gallows, OS. & OHG. galgo, G. galgen, Icel. gālgi, 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
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
M. E. galwes (pl.)—A.S. galga; Ger. galgen.

Usage

In literature:

God doesn't send the man to the gallows nor the soldier to the fighting line.
"From the Housetops" by George Barr McCutcheon
There stood the gallows; at its foot was a coffin.
"The Story of Cooperstown" by Ralph Birdsall
She did not relish the idea of being made a widow by the gallows.
"Phineas Redux" by Anthony Trollope
That others come to the gallows is owing to their bad management.
"The Growth of English Drama" by Arnold Wynne
He glanced furtively towards the gallows, and foresaw the vultures perched upon his shoulders, fluttering about his eyes.
"The Four Feathers" by A. E. W. Mason
Beware of two things: buy no gallows-meat, and sit at no brook-side.
"Household Stories by the Brothers Grimm" by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm
Every moment that you falter spins the rope for your gallows!
"Bohemian Days" by Geo. Alfred Townsend
One fork of the road led to comparative safety; the other went by devious windings to the penitentiary and perhaps the gallows.
"The Yukon Trail" by William MacLeod Raine
But I will not stand on punctilio when it is a question of trying to save a Penreath of Twelvetrees from the gallows.
"The Shrieking Pit" by Arthur J. Rees
For my part, that night reconciled me to the prospect of a French gallows as much as anything.
"Kilgorman" by Talbot Baines Reed
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In poetry:

O hasten and run to Signy’s bower
For the life of that sweet thing;
Hasten and run to the gallows high,
No thief is Hafbur the King.”
"Hafbur And Signy" by William Morris
"Vile scoffer!" cried the baffled priest,
"Thou 'lt yet the gallows see."
"Who's born to be hanged will not be drowned,"
Quoth Macy, merrily;
"The Exiles. 1660" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Beneath the gallows' foot abhorred
The crowds cry 'Crucify!' and 'Kill!'
Higher the priests sing, 'Praise the Lord,
The warlock dies'; and higher still
"The World's Lover" by Gilbert Keith Chesterton
On the gallows away from our face
darted the redness of your ruby lips,
waved the playfulness of your youthful locks,
shone the glow of the silver palms.
"We, Who Were Slain In Unlit Pathways" by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Wishing for the roses of your lips
we offered ourselves to a gallows' twig
Longing for the radiance of your glowing hands
we let ourselves be slain in unlit pathways
"We, Who Were Slain In Unlit Pathways" by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
But now each murderer, and desperate thief,
(Whom erst I from the gallows sav'd) in hell
Remorseless tear my soul — and, to my grief,
The fiends themselves in cruelty excel.
"The Complaint And The Advice Of Dives, To His Five Brethren (Part 1)" by Rees Prichard

In news:

Gallows, Lupe Fiasco, The Bled , The Knew, YellowFever.
"Orchestra of Wolves" by Gallows.
The five mad young men in Gallows have beef with Mickey Mouse.
Richard and Gypsy Ravish will host a magic circle at Gallows Hill on Halloween.
Gallows Suicide is a 22-year-old Suicide Girl from Ohio who fantasizes about unicorns and werewolves.
Despite the years that have gone by, the hanging gallows still exist.
'Twilight's' Peter Facinelli to Star in ' Gallows Hill' (Exclusive).
Robert Plant Performs " Gallows Pole" from New 'Artists Den' DVD.
Gallows Suicide — Today's SuicideGirl.
Meet Gallows , a 20-year-old SuicideGirl from Ohio who says seeing dead turtles on the road makes her sad and that she enjoys a good mustache.
Alice Dancing Under the Gallows .
Gallows , Lupe Fiasco, The Bled, The Knew, YellowFever.
"Orchestra of Wolves" by Gallows .
Her gallows humor leads to serenity.
Cottontop' goes to gallows .
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