What is Stocks?

Legal Definition
Stocks are devices that were used internationally, in medieval, Renaissance and colonial American times as a form of physical punishment involving public humiliation. The stocks partially immobilized its victims and they were often exposed in a public place such as the site of a market to the scorn of those who passed by. This scorn was commonly represented by throwing rotten food at the victim.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
Crim. law. A machine commonly made of wood, with boles in it, in which to confine persons accused of or guilty of a crime.

2. It was used either to confine unruly offenders by way of security, or convicted criminals for punishment.

3. This barbarous punishment has been generally abandoned in the United States.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
A machine consisting of two pieces of timber, arranged to be fastened together, and holding fast the legs of a person placed in it This was an ancient method of punishment.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
A contrivance for the discipline or punishment of a prisoner, consisting of a board through holes in which his feet and arms protruded.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary