A gibbet is a structure that's used to execute criminals by hanging them. The execution of someone on a gibbet is an old-fashioned practice.

You can use the word gibbet to mean "gallows," or "public execution structure," and it can also be a verb, meaning to hang a person on one. Back in the days when executioners would routinely gibbet criminals in the public square, the bodies were often left on display — possibly to intimidate other potential criminals. The word gibbet has its root in the Old French gibet, "bent stick or gallows," from gibe, or "club."

Definitions of gibbet

n an instrument of public execution

gallous, gallows tree, gallows-tree
Type of:
an instrument of execution consisting of a wooden frame from which a condemned person is executed by hanging

v hang on an execution instrument

Type of:
hang, string up
kill by hanging

v expose to ridicule or public scorn

Type of:
display, exhibit, expose
to show, make visible or apparent

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