in the dock

in the dock

Meanings:
– on trial in court, especially in a criminal case.
– under intense scrutiny.
– being tried in a court, especially a criminal court; on trial.

Examples:
1. The accused stood in the dock through the entire proceeding.
2. The accused was very calmed and serious while taking him in the dock.
3. The accused lady fell in the dock when she heard the punishment.

Origin:
1505–90; perhaps < Dutch dok (dial. sense) cage, poultry pen, rabbit hutch

This idiomatic expression employs dock in the sense of “an enclosed place for the defendant in a court of law,” a usage dating from the late 1500s, and is used even in American courts where no such enclosure exists.

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