Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A device used for hanging a person until dead; a gallows.
  • n. An upright post with a crosspiece, forming a T-shaped structure from which executed criminals were formerly hung for public viewing.
  • transitive v. To execute by hanging on a gibbet.
  • transitive v. To hang on a gibbet for public viewing.
  • transitive v. To expose to infamy or public ridicule.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An upright post with a crosspiece used for execution and subsequent public display; a gallows.
  • v. To execute (someone), or display (a body), on a gibbet.
  • v. To expose (someone) to ridicule or scorn.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of gallows; an upright post with an arm projecting from the top, on which, formerly, malefactors were hanged in chains, and their bodies allowed to remain as a warning.
  • n. The projecting arm of a crane, from which the load is suspended; the jib.
  • transitive v. To hang and expose on a gibbet.
  • transitive v. To expose to infamy; to blacken.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A kind of gallows; a wooden structure consisting of an upright post with an arm projecting from the top, on which malefactors were formerly hanged in chains; sometimes, as the famous gibbet of Montfaucon, near Paris, a considerable structure with numerous uprights of masonry, connected by several tiers of cross-beams, and with pits beneath it in which the remains were cast when they fell from the chains; hence, a gallows of any form.
  • n. The projecting beam of a crane which sustains the pulleys and the weight to be lifted; a jib.
  • n. A great cudgel, such as are thrown at trees to beat down the fruit.
  • To hang and expose on a gibbet or gallows; hang upon anything resembling a gibbet.
  • Figuratively, to set forth to public gaze; expose to ridicule, scorn, infamy, or the like.
  • n. An error for gigot, a shoulder of mutton.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. alternative terms for gallows
  • v. expose to ridicule or public scorn
  • v. hang on an execution instrument

Etymologies

Middle English gibet, from Old French, diminutive of gibe, staff, probably from Frankish *gibb, forked stick.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French gibet (Modern French gibet), either from Frankish *gibb (“forked stick”) or from Latin gibbus ("hunchbacked"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • This particular translation question is interesting because "gibbet" itself is inaccurate in terms of literal translation (a gibbet is a specific thing, and the Latin word does not refer to that thing but something else).

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  • “The gibbet is a balance with a man at one end and the whole world at the other.

    IV. Fate. Book VII

  • Jesus completely represented Him, and this broken body on the gibbet was the inevitable result.

    Some Christian Convictions A Practical Restatement in Terms of Present-Day Thinking

  • I., nor that in a remote branch of my family there exists a claimant to an earldom, nor that an uncle of mine used to own a dog that was descended from the dog that was in the Ark; and at the same time I was never able to persuade myself to call a gibbet by its right name when accounting for other ancestors of mine, but always spoke of it as the

    Christian Science

  • The elbow of the gibbet was a square hall which was used as the servants 'hall, and which the nuns called the buttery.

    Les Miserables, Volume II, Cosette

  • Below, on the solid ground, stakes with chains were driven into the ground; while near the gibbet was a post with a chain in which those who were to be mercifully strangled before being thrown into the flames were to be placed.

    The Ferryman of Brill and other stories

  • On all occasions the drovers were armed with various weapons to defend their charge from the cattle-stealers who were too often apt to hang upon their skirts, ready to carry off any stray beast they could find, though the gibbet was the penalty if they were captured.

    John Deane of Nottingham Historic Adventures by Land and Sea

  • The rope and the gibbet is to be his portion; die he must; and what honour a man wins or saves, by that which gives him an opportunity of being hanged, is hard to be understood; but he that mistakes the cart for a triumphal chariot, or the gallow-tree for a triumphal arch, may apply himself to the obtaining such victories as these.

    Sermons Preached Upon Several Occasions. Vol. VII.

  • Bound hand and foot, under an escort of thirty men, the next morning we set off to cross the deserts and prairies of Senora, to gain the Mexican capital, where we well knew that a gibbet was to be our fate.

    Travels and Adventures of Monsieur Violet

  • They evidently anticipated that they would become great men in the republic, upon the safe delivery of our persons to the Mexican government, and every day took good care to remind us that the gibbet was to be our fate on our arrival.

    Travels and Adventures of Monsieur Violet

Comments

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  • Theoden used this word when he was talking to Saruman after the battle Of Helm's Deep.

    June 9, 2012


  • It makes no matter: let the sawce-boxe goe,
    And euer after marke him what he is,
    Running his race whilst that the hemp doth grow,
    He hath good lucke, if he the gibbet misse.
    Long haue I liu'd, yet could I neuer see
    One of his lookes, but had a shamefull end,
    And like a bird deceased on a tree.
    And so will he, if time be not his friend.

    - W. N. Gent, 'A Warning For Wantons', 1607.

    August 2, 2009