By Deane Barker

Definition: to expose to ridicule and abuse.

A “pillory” were the classic “stocks” in the town square in Old England where criminals would be locked so people could ridicule them and throw fruit at them.

No one does that anymore, so “pilloried” is figurative now.

Why I Looked It Up

Douglas Wilson used the word in a blog post:

But if they tried anything like that today, even in Oklahoma, they would be pilloried by the national media, and hectored to the point where some of the library board started to consider seeking asylum in North Korea.


Added on

In The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, the author writes:

Lapo is no doubt being ironic, but he is also, in the very manner of his irony, showing that he gets the cynical joke and thereby demonstrating his suitability to participate in the conversations he pillories.

In this sense, you could simply replace “pillories” with “ridicules.”

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