Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A criminal who has narrowly escaped being hanged.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who has narrowly escaped the gallows for his crimes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who has escaped the gallows though deserving hanging; a villain: used in objurgation.

Etymologies

scape +‎ gallows (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • "One who deserves and has narrowly escaped the gallows, a slip-gibbet, one for whom the gallows is said to groan."
    - Francis Grose, 'The Vulgar Tongue.'

    September 12, 2008