picture for pillory

Pillory is a deceptive word, with its origin actually coming out of its physical existence. Actually, ‘Pillory’ existed as device.  And it was not just an ordinary device; it was one for humiliating and deriding people.

The pillory was a device made of a wooden or metal framework erected on a post, with holes for securing the head and hands, formerly used for punishment by public humiliation and often further physical abuse, sometimes lethal.

Gradually the use for the word pillory developed and it progressed from being used as a noun to being used a verb. The word pillory now used to represent public humiliation or abuse. For example: The boss mercilessly pilloried his haggard employee.

Masters Tip to remember Pillory:
Imagine yourself tied up in the device shown in the picture above and imagine that you placed this way in front of a 1000 people. What you have just gone through is being pilloried.

Dictionary Definition for Pillory:
1. A wooden framework erected on a post, with holes for securing the head and hands, formerly used to expose an offender to public derision. (noun)
2. To set in the pillory. (verb)
3. To expose to public derision, ridicule, or abuse. (verb)

Usage Examples:
1. Objectively, I think it’s ridiculous to pillory someone for something they said or did more than a decade ago. – http://www.whoateallthepies.tv
2. Following the decision by Kenny MacAskill, the Justice Minister, to let the Lockerbie mass-murderer go home – not to die – strategists from both opposition parties reckon they can pillory the SNP on the nation’s doorsteps in the long weeks leading up to the poll on May 5. – http://www.telegraph.co.uk

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