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[pil-uh-ree] /ˈpɪl ə ri/

noun, plural pillories.
a wooden framework erected on a post, with holes for securing the head and hands, formerly used to expose an offender to public derision.
verb (used with object), pilloried, pillorying.
to set in the pillory.
to expose to public derision, ridicule, or abuse:
The candidate mercilessly pilloried his opponent.
noun (pl) -ries
a wooden framework into which offenders were formerly locked by the neck and wrists and exposed to public abuse and ridicule
exposure to public scorn or abuse
verb (transitive) -ries, -rying, -ried
to expose to public scorn or ridicule
to punish by putting in a pillory

late 13c. (attested in Anglo-Latin from late 12c.), from Old French pilori “pillory” (mid-12c.), related to Medieval Latin pilloria, of uncertain origin, perhaps a diminutive of Latin pila “pillar, stone barrier” (see pillar), but OED finds this proposed derivation “phonologically unsuitable.”

c.1600, from pillory (n.). Figurative sense of “expose publicly to ridicule or abuse” is from 1690s. Related: Pilloried.


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