Structure for execution by hanging / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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A gallows (or less precisely scaffold) is a frame or elevated beam, typically wooden, from which objects can be suspended or "weighed". Gallows were thus widely used to suspend public weighing scales for large and heavy objects such as sacks of grain or minerals, usually positioned in markets or toll gates. The term was also used for a projecting framework from which a ship's anchor might be raised so it is no longer sitting on the seabed, riverbed or dock; "weighing [the] anchor" meant raising it using this apparatus while avoiding striking the ship's hull.
In modern usage the term has come to mean almost exclusively a scaffold or gibbet used for execution by hanging.