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What Is Gibbet? Definition And Usage Of This Term

WHAT IS GIBBET – In this topic, we are going to know and learn the definition of this term and how is this term used in sentences.

What Is Gibbet


The Oxford Dictionary defines the term as the following:

  • a gallows.
  • an upright post with an arm on which the bodies of executed criminals were left hanging as a warning or deterrent to others.
  • execution by hanging.
  • execute (someone) by hanging.
  • hold up to contempt

Meanwhile, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines this term as the following:

  • an upright post with a projecting arm for hanging the bodies of executed criminals as a warning
  • to expose to infamy or public scorn
  • to execute by hanging on a post


Here are some of the following synonyms:

  • gallows tree
  • gallous
  • gallows
  • gallows-tree
  • hemp
  • instrument of execution
  • hangman’s rope
  • hempen
  • necktie
  • halter
  • gallows-tree
  • hangman’s halter


It is a Middle English term, which is from the Old French gibet or ‘staff, cudgel, gallows’, a diminutive term of gibe or  ‘club, staff


Here are some examples of the usage of this term:

  • As he walks, he passes a gibbet where the corpses of three crows are hung to deter their fellows.
  •  Before the coarse brown fabric hung an austere gibbet, constructed of two weathered wooden beams.
  • Ranulf lifted the lantern horn and his blood ran cold as he glimpsed a gibbet standing there.
  • A few days later we passed the desiccated corpse of another brigand hanging on a gibbet beside the track.

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