From Middle English galwes, galewes, galowe, galwe, from Old English ġealga, from Proto-Germanic *galgô, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰalgʰ-, *ǵʰalg- (“long switch, rod, shaft, pole, perch”). Compare West Frisian galge, Dutch galg, German Galgen, Danish galge, Icelandic gálgi.
gallows (plural gallows or gallowses)
- Wooden framework on which persons are put to death by hanging.
- (colloquial, obsolete) A wretch who deserves to be hanged.
- (printing, obsolete) The rest for the tympan when raised.
- (colloquial, obsolete) Suspenders; braces.
- Any contrivance with posts and crossbeam for suspending objects.
- The main frame of a beam engine.
- Third-person singular simple present indicative form of gallow