[gal-ohz, -uhz]
noun, plural gallowses, gallows.
a wooden frame, consisting of a crossbeam on two uprights, on which condemned persons are executed by hanging.
a similar structure from which something is suspended.
execution by hanging: a crime deserving of the gallows.
Also called gallows bitts. Nautical. a support on the deck of a vessel, generally one of two or more, consisting of a crosspiece on two uprights, for spars, boats, etc.

before 900; Middle English galwes, Old English g(e)algan, plural of g(e)alga gallows; cognate with German Galgen Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gallows (ˈɡæləʊz)
n , pl -lowses, -lows
1.  a wooden structure usually consisting of two upright posts with a crossbeam from which a rope is suspended, used for hanging criminals
2.  any timber structure resembling this, such as (in Australia and New Zealand) a frame for hoisting up the bodies of slaughtered cattle
3.  the gallows execution by hanging
[C13: from Old Norse galgi, replacing Old English gealga; related to Old High German galgo]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., pl. of M.E. galwe "gallows," from O.N. galgi, or from O.E. galga (Mercian), gealga (W. Saxon); all from P.Gmc. *galg- "pole" (cf. O.Fris. galga, M.H.G. galge "gallows, cross"), perhaps cognate with Lith. zalga "pole, perch," Armenian dzalk "pole." Originally also used of the cross of the
crucifixion. Plural because made of two poles.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Gallows definition

Heb. 'ets, meaning "a tree" (Esther 6:4), a post or gibbet. In Gen. 40:19 and Deut. 21:22 the word is rendered "tree."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
In this book drugs are merely a means to an end, and that end is the gallows.
Gallows humor, perhaps, but it has helped me to survive my condition.
Before the play is over good people of pious nature and responsible temper are condemning other good people to the gallows.
The rope is not a normal gallows rope but the stem of an opium poppy.
Image for gallows
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