in the dock


in the dock


  • on trial in court, especially in a criminal case.
  • under intense scrutiny or close observation.
  • in a difficult situation where someone is held accountable for their actions.

The phrase “in the dock” is used to refer to a situation in which one is being formally judged, accused, or held responsible for something. It is often used to describe a difficult situation in which someone must answer for their actions, either in a court of law or in a more general sense.

Example Sentences

  1. The accused man was placed in the dock, ready to face trial.
  2. We knew we were in the dock when our boss called us into his office to discuss our performance.
  3. The accused remained standing in the dock for the duration of the trial.
  4. The accused was very calm and serious while they took him to the dock.
  5. The accused lady fell in the dock when she heard the punishment.


Usage of the idiom “in the dock” dates back to the late 1500s. The phrase was originally used to refer to the predicament of being in a court trial where the accused was placed in a dock. The dock is an idiomatic expression for the enclosed place for the defendant in a court of law. Ideally, it is used to mean being in trouble or facing a difficult situation.

The phrase “in the dock” is attributed to Shakespeare, who first used it in The Merry Wives of Windsor (1597). Ever since, this phrase has been used to describe situations where a person is under intense scrutiny for metaphorical crimes or on trial in court, especially in a criminal case.

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