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Definition of "gallows" []

  • A device usually consisting of two upright posts supporting a crossbeam from which a noose is suspended and used for execution by hanging; a gallows tree. (noun)
  • A similar structure used for supporting or suspending. (noun)
  • Execution by hanging: a crime punishable by the gallows. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "gallows" in a sentence
  • "The Germans call it gallows-humour; the French, 1'humour noir."
  • "Stephen Friedman, another London gallery, will show Glasgow-based David Shrigley, an expert in gallows humor whose works include a taxidermied dog."
  • "The ordinary gallows is comparatively humane; the victim falls through a trap and drops far enough to break his neck and he dies instantly."