[ stool ]
See synonyms for: stoolstooledstooling on

  1. a single seat on legs or a pedestal and without arms or a back.

  2. a short, low support on which to stand, step, kneel, or rest the feet while sitting.

  1. Horticulture. the stump, base, or root of a plant from which propagative organs are produced, as shoots for layering.

  2. the base of a plant that annually produces new stems or shoots.

  3. a cluster of shoots or stems springing up from such a base or from any root, or a single shoot or layer.

  4. a bird fastened to a pole or perch and used as a decoy.

  5. an artificial duck or other bird, usually made from wood, used as a decoy by hunters.

  6. a privy.

  7. the fecal matter evacuated at each movement of the bowels.

  8. the sill of a window.

  9. a bishop's seat considered as symbolic of his authority; see.

  10. the sacred chair of certain African chiefs, symbolic of their kingship.

verb (used without object)
  1. to put forth shoots from the base or root, as a plant; form a stool.

  2. Slang. to turn informer; serve as a stool pigeon.

Idioms about stool

  1. fall between two stools, to fail, through hesitation or indecision, to select either of two alternatives.

Origin of stool

First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English stōl; cognate with German Stuhl, Old Norse stōll, Gothic stols “chair”; all are from unattested Germanic stō- (from Indo-European root of stand) + -l- suffix (unattested); akin to Old Church Slavonic stolŭ “throne”

Other words from stool

  • stoollike, adjective

Words Nearby stool Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use stool in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for stool


/ (stuːl) /

  1. a backless seat or footrest consisting of a small flat piece of wood, etc, resting on three or four legs, a pedestal, etc

  2. a rootstock or base of a plant, usually a woody plant, from which shoots, etc, are produced

  1. a cluster of shoots growing from such a base

  2. mainly US a decoy used in hunting

  3. waste matter evacuated from the bowels

  4. a lavatory seat

  5. (in W Africa, esp Ghana) a chief's throne

  6. fall between two stools

    • to fail through vacillation between two alternatives

    • to be in an unsatisfactory situation through not belonging to either of two categories or groups

  1. (of a plant) to send up shoots from the base of the stem, rootstock, etc

  2. to lure wildfowl with a decoy

Origin of stool

Old English stōl; related to Old Norse stōll, Gothic stōls, Old High German stuol chair, Greek stulos pillar

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with stool


In addition to the idiom beginning with stool

  • stool pigeon

also see:

  • fall between the cracks (two stools)

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.