from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An instrument of punishment no longer in use, consisting of a chair in which the offender was tied and exposed to public derision or ducked in water.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- A kind of chair formerly used for punishing scolds, and also dishonest tradesmen, by fastening them in it, usually in front of their doors, to be pelted and hooted at by the mob, but sometimes to be taken to the water and ducked; -- called also a castigatory, a tumbrel, and a trebuchet; and often, but not so correctly, a ducking stool.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Formerly, a chair in which an offender, as a common brawler or scold, or a woman of disorderly life, or a defaulting brewer or baker, was placed, to be hooted at or pelted by the mob.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an instrument of punishment consisting of a chair in which offenders were ducked in water
Middle English cukking stol, from cukken, to defecate, of Scandinavian origin; see kakka- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)