nounWord forms: plural ˈgallows or ˈgallowses
1. an upright frame with a crossbeam and a rope, for hanging condemned persons
2. any structure like this, used for suspending or supporting
Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, compiled by the
editors of Webster’s New World Dictionaries. Copyright © 2010 by Houghton
Mifflin Harcourt. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Word origin of 'gallows'ME galwes, pl. of galwe < OE galga, akin to Ger galgen < IE base *ĝhalgh-, pliant tree branch > Lith žalgà, long, thin pole: the earliest gallows was a pulled-down branch that carried the
victim with it when allowed to spring up