|n.s. [It is used by some in the singular; but by more only in the plural, or sometimes has another plural gallowses. Galga, Gothick; ʒealʒa; Saxon; galge, Dutch; which some derive from gabalus, furca, Latin; others from נבה high; others from gallu, Welsh, power: but it is probably derived like gallow, to fright, from aʒælwan, the gallows being the great object of legal terrour.]|
- A beam laid over two posts, on which malefactors are hanged.
This monster sat like a hangman upon a pair of gallows: in his right hand he was painted holding a crown of laurel, in his left hand a purse of money. Sidney, b. ii.
I would we were all of one mind, and one mind good; O, there were desolation of gaolers and gallowses. Shakesp. Cymbel.
I prophesied, if a gallows were on land,
This fellow could not drown. Shakespeare's Tempest.
A little before dinner he took the major aside, and whispered him in the ear, that execution must that day be done in the town, and therefore required him that a pair of gallows should be erected. Hayward.
A production that naturally groweth under gallowses, and places of execution. Brown's Vulgar Errours, b. ii.
A poor fellow, going to the gallows, may be allowed to feel the smart of wasps while he is upon Tyburn road. Swift.
- A wretch that deserves the gallows.
Cupid hath been five thousand years a boy.
— Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too. Shakespeare.