Gal"lows (?), n. sing.; pl. Gallowses (#) ∨ Gallows. [OE. galwes, pl., AS. galga, gealga, gallows, cross; akin to D. galg gallows, OS. & OHG. galgo, G. galgen, Icel. galgi, 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.]

1.

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. Esther vii. 10.

If I hang, I'll make a fat pair of gallows. Shak.

O, there were desolation of gaolers and gallowses Shak.

2.

A wretch who deserves the gallows.

[R.]

Shak.

3. Print.

The rest for the tympan when raised.

4. pl.

A pair of suspenders or braces.

[Colloq.]

Gallows bird, a person who deserves the gallows. [Colloq.] -- Gallows bitts Naut., one of two or more frames amidships on deck for supporting spare spars; -- called also gallows, gallows top, gallows frame, etc. -- Gallows frame. (a) The frame supporting the beam of an engine. (b) Naut. Gallows bitts. -- Gallows, ∨ Gallow tree, the gallows.

At length him nail'ed on a gallow tree. Spenser.

 

© Webster 1913.

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