Hanged, drawn and quartered


      • severe punishment
        Describing a brutal and gruesome form of execution by being hanged, disemboweled, and then cut into four pieces

      • extreme suffering
        Representing a state of extreme agony or torment, often used metaphorically to describe a person's emotional or physical pain

    Examples of Hanged, drawn and quartered

    • The disgraced politician faced the ultimate punishment for his actions - he was hanged, drawn, and quartered.

      In medieval times, this gruesome punishment was reserved for the most serious crimes, such as treason. The condemned person was first hanged until nearly dead, then cut down and disemboweled while still conscious. Finally, their body was quartered and the four parts displayed as a warning to others. Today, the idiom "hanged, drawn, and quartered" is used figuratively to describe a particularly severe or humiliating punishment. It usually refers to a situation where a person's reputation, career, or social standing is completely destroyed.

    • The convict was sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered for his heinous crimes against the crown.

      In the past, this severe punishment was reserved for high treason, such as attempting to assassinate the king or queen. The convict was first hung until almost dead, then his entrails were drawn out and displayed, and finally, he was quartered, meaning his body was cut into four pieces and displayed in different parts of the country as a warning to others.

    • Some politicians suggest that their opponents deserve to be hanged, drawn, and quartered for their actions, but fortunately, this barbaric punishment is no longer legal in most countries.

      While the language has become more extreme in recent times, the sentiment is the same: an intense desire for retribution and punishment. This idiom is now rarely used, except in historical contexts, as it is no longer seen as a realistic or acceptable form of justice.

    • The company's reputation was hung, drawn, and quartered in the aftermath of the scandal.

      This metaphorical use of the idiom suggests that the company's reputation was heavily damaged or destroyed due to a scandal or other negative event. Although the punishment is no longer used, the language remains vivid and memorable, making it an interesting figure of speech to use in a figurative sense.

    • I feel like I'm being hanged, drawn, and quartered by all the work I have to do.

      This example uses the idiom in a more serious way, but also in a more figurative sense. It suggests that the person is overwhelmed by their workload and feels as if they are being punished or severely burdened by it. The language emphasizes the feeling of being stretched or pulled in different directions, highlighting the extent of the person's workload.Overall, the idiom of "hanged, drawn, and quartered" is a powerful and dramatic expression that highlights the severity of the punishment and the seriousness of the crime. Its use in modern language is largely figurative, but it serves as a reminder of the historical justice system and the barbaric punishments that were once considered acceptable.


    The idiom "hanged, drawn, and quartered" is primarily used to convey the severity of a punishment or the degree of suffering. It originated from a form of execution used in medieval England for high treason. The process involved the condemned being dragged through the streets, hanged until almost dead, then disemboweled and cut into four pieces. This barbaric method was meant to serve as a deterrent and instill fear in the public.

    Over time, the phrase has evolved to represent a state of extreme anguish or torment. In modern usage, it is often used figuratively to describe a person's intense emotional or physical pain. It can also be used to express the feeling of being overwhelmed or pulled in different directions, similar to the gruesome process of being hanged, drawn, and quartered.

    Origin of "Hanged, drawn and quartered"

    The phrase "hanged, drawn, and quartered" originated from the punishment for high treason in medieval England. It was first used in the 13th century and continued to be used until the 19th century. The process was a public event, meant to serve as a warning to others and humiliate the condemned.

    The punishment involved being dragged through the streets, hanged until almost dead, then disemboweled and cut into four pieces. The body parts were then displayed in different parts of the city as a warning to others. This brutal method was considered the ultimate punishment and reserved for those who committed the most serious crimes against the state.

    Today, the phrase is used to describe a severe punishment or extreme suffering. It has also become a popular idiom in literature and media to convey a sense of intense pain or agony. Its origin serves as a reminder of the barbaric methods used in the past and the importance of justice and human rights in modern society.