American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A device formerly used in Europe and New England for punishment, consisting of a chair in which an offender was tied and ducked into water.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A stool or chair in which common scolds were formerly tied and plunged into water. They were of different forms, but that most commonly in use consisted of an upright post and a transverse pivoted beam on which the seat was fitted or from which it was suspended by a chain. The ducking-stool is mentioned in the Doomsday survey; it was extensively in use throughout Great Britain from the fifteenth till the beginning of the eighteenth century, and in one rare case at least—at Leominster—was used as recently as 1809. See
cucking-stool. Also called castigalory.
GNU Webster's 1913
- a stool or chair in which common scolds were formerly tied, and plunged into water, as a punishment. See Cucking stool. The practice of ducking began in the latter part of the 15th century, and prevailed until the early part of the 18th, and occasionally as late as the 19th century.
- n. an instrument of punishment consisting of a chair in which offenders were ducked in water
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