in the dock

Idioms & Phrases

in the dock

On trial, especially in a criminal case. For example, The accused stood in the dock through the entire proceeding. This expression employs dock in the sense of "an enclosed place for the defendant in a court of law," a usage dating from the late 1500s, and is used even in American courts where no such enclosure exists.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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