Definition of gibbet in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɪbɪt/


1A gallows.
Example sentences
  • A keen historian he also spent considerable time searching for items of historical interest and even managed to locate a gibbet from an old gallows from which a young Irish lad was hung in 1832.
  • And the punishment was executed to perfection by the brave officer who pursued the blacks and killed some of them and captured the rest, to place them on the gallows and gibbets.
  • Opinion was running hot and heavy, and gibbets, nooses, electric chairs and lethal injections were topics featuring prominently.
1.1An upright post with an arm on which the bodies of executed criminals were left hanging as a warning or deterrent to others.
Example sentences
  • You can still see their bodies, swinging slowly on the gibbet outside, an example to all who would cross the Valley of Death.
  • In 1796 the corpse of convicted murderer Francis Morgan was hung in chains from a gibbet as a sign to arriving convicts of their fate for bad behaviour.
  • It was the custom then to hang a convicted man on the spot where he committed the crime, and then display the corpse on a gibbet beside the public highway.
1.2 (the gibbet) Execution by hanging: the four ringleaders were sentenced to the gibbet
More example sentences
  • He called him a hero for whom ‘the gibbet has only increased his glory, and made him a martyr.’

verb (gibbets, gibbeting, gibbeted)

[with object]
1Hang up (a body) on a gibbet.
Example sentences
  • Hangings were public affairs and sometimes the bodies were gibbeted - left on the noose after death as a sign of the consequences of crime.
1.1Execute (someone) by hanging.
Example sentences
  • Most of the city's residents turned out to watch the executioner gibbet, hang, or burn the convicted.
1.2 archaic Subject to ridicule and derision: poor Melbourne is gibbeted in The Times


Middle English: from Old French gibet 'staff, cudgel, gallows', diminutive of gibe 'club, staff', probably of Germanic origin.

Words that rhyme with gibbet

adhibit, exhibit, inhibit, prohibit

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: gib¦bet

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