gallows

During the Salem witch trials in the late 1600s, women accused of witchcraft were executed by hanging, a gruesome process that involves a gallows, or wooden frame from which a person is hung by a rope.

A gallows is a frame, usually wood, that is made up of a horizontal crossbeam from which a noose or rope is suspended. The word gallows has an s at the end of it because a gallows usually consists of two upright poles and a crossbeam. As a form of capital punishment, hanging is outlawed in almost every state, making the use of gallows these days very rare. If you see one, it will be in a museum.

Definitions of gallows
  1. noun
    an instrument of execution consisting of a wooden frame from which a condemned person is executed by hanging
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    types:
    gallous, gallows tree, gallows-tree, gibbet
    alternative terms for gallows
    type of:
    instrument of execution
    an instrument designed and used to take the life of a condemned person
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