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Gal"lows, n. sing.; pl. Gallowses or Gallows. Etym: [OE. galwes, pl., AS. galga, gealga, gallows, cross; akin to D. galg gallows, OS. & OHG. galgo, G. galgen, Icel. galgi, Sw. & Dan. galge, Goth. galga a cross. Etymologically and historically considered, gallows is a noun in the plural number, but it is used as a singular, and hence is preceded by a; as, a gallows.]

1. A frame from which is suspended the rope with which criminals are executed by hanging, usually consisting of two upright posts and a crossbeam on the top; also, a like frame for suspending anything.
So they hanged Haman on the gallows. Esther 7:10.
If I hang, I'll make a fat pair of gallows. Shak.
O, there were desolation of gaolers and gallowses Shak.

2. A wretch who deserves the gallows. [R.] Shak.

3. (Print.)

Defn: The rest for the tympan when raised.

4. pl.

Defn: A pair of suspenders or braces. [Colloq.] Gallows bird, a person who deserves the gallows. [Colloq.] -- Gallows bitts
(Naut.), one of two or more frames amidships on deck for supporting spare spars; -- called also gallows, gallows top, gallows frame, etc.
-- Gallows frame.
(a) The frame supporting the beam of an engine.
(b) (Naut.) Gallows bitts.
-- Gallows, or Gallow tree, the gallows.
At length him nailéd on a gallow tree. Spenser.

---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary.

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

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