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pillory

[pil-uh-ree] /ˈpɪl ə ri/
noun, plural pillories.
1.
a wooden framework erected on a post, with holes for securing the head and hands, formerly used to expose an offender to public derision.
verb (used with object), pilloried, pillorying.
2.
to set in the pillory.
3.
to expose to public derision, ridicule, or abuse:
The candidate mercilessly pilloried his opponent.
Origin
1225-1275
1225-75; Middle English pyllory < Old French pilori, perhaps < Medieval Latin pīlōrium, equivalent to Latin pīl(a) pillar (see pile1) + -ōrium -ory2, though Romance variants such as Provençal espillori suggest a less transparent source
Related forms
unpilloried, adjective
Can be confused
pillar, pillory, pillow.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for pillory
  • Hill intends to put him in a pillory before the public.
  • His solution is to throttle free trade and pillory efficient retailers that sell cheap imported winter coats.
  • The world mocks at it and sometimes puts one in the pillory for it.
  • Then opposition politicians arrived to pillory the state government and pose for photos with farmers.
  • On the square you'll notice a replica of a pillory and stocks.
  • And the country's best writers continue to pillory them and hold them to account.
  • His punishment was a fine or the time in the pillory.
  • In this session the court created the first acts of authorization for the building of a courthouse, prison and pillory.
British Dictionary definitions for pillory

pillory

/ˈpɪlərɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
1.
a wooden framework into which offenders were formerly locked by the neck and wrists and exposed to public abuse and ridicule
2.
exposure to public scorn or abuse
verb (transitive) -ries, -rying, -ried
3.
to expose to public scorn or ridicule
4.
to punish by putting in a pillory
Word Origin
C13: from Anglo-Latin pillorium, from Old French pilori, of uncertain origin; related to Provençal espillori
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pillory
n.

late 13c. (attested in Anglo-Latin from late 12c.), from Old French pilori "pillory" (mid-12c.), related to Medieval Latin pilloria, of uncertain origin, perhaps a diminutive of Latin pila "pillar, stone barrier" (see pillar), but OED finds this proposed derivation "phonologically unsuitable."

v.

c.1600, from pillory (n.). Figurative sense of "expose publicly to ridicule or abuse" is from 1690s. Related: Pilloried.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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