noun (plural pillories)
- A wooden framework with holes for the head and hands, in which offenders were formerly imprisoned and exposed to public abuse.More example sentences
- The punishments for which may be confiscation of the fish, imprisonment, the pillory, and the offender giving up his occupation for a year and a day.
- Prime Ministers and all high levels of UK government should be forced to spend at least one week a month in public stocks and pillories.
- But he puts it from him as a temptation of the Evil One, makes public confession on the pillory which had been the scene of Hester's shame, and dies in her arms.
verb (pillories, pillorying, pilloried)[with object] Back to top
- 2Attack or ridicule publicly: he found himself pilloried by members of his own partyMore example sentences
attack, criticize, censure, condemn, denigrate, find fault with, give a bad press to, lambaste, flay, savage, brand, stigmatize, cast a slur on, denounce• informal knock, slam, pan, bash, take to pieces, take apart, crucify, monster, hammer, lay into, slate, rubbish, slag off, roast, skewerNorth American • informal pummelAustralian/New Zealand • informal bag• archaic slash• rare excoriateridicule, jeer at, sneer at, deride, show up, hold up to shame, mock, hold up to ridicule, heap scorn on, treat with contempt, scorn, make fun of, poke fun at, laugh at, make jokes about, scoff at, be sarcastic about, tease, taunt, rag, chaff, jibe at, twitBritish • vulgar slang take the piss (out of)• archaic quiz, flout (at)
- But a man who, for all his faults, has actually liberated more of those people from terror and oppression than any human rights group on earth, will be pilloried, attacked, booed and maligned.
- It is precisely because he cites statistics, writes logically and avoids ideological fervour that he has been attacked and pilloried by eco-fundamentalists and fellow travellers around the world.
- The notion that international relations - even in a time of war - are less important than being publicly pilloried by angry commuters shows politics reduced to its most banal.
Middle English: from Old French pilori, probably from Provençal espilori (associated by some with a Catalan word meaning 'peephole', of uncertain origin).