From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


Origin: 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, ill make a fat pair of gallows. (Shak) O, there were desolation of gaolers and gallowses (Shak)

2. A wretch who deserves the gallows.

3. The rest for the tympan when raised.

4. A pair of suspenders or braces. Gallows bird, a person who deserves the gallows. Gallows bitts gallows bitts. Gallows, or Gallow tree, the gallows. at length him nailed on a gallow tree. (Spenser)