noun a pigeon used as a decoy. Also called stool·ie [ stoo-lee], /ˈstu li/, . stooly Slang. a person employed or acting as a decoy or informer, especially for the police.
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Origin of stool pigeon
An Americanism dating back to 1820–30
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022
How to use stool pigeon in a sentence British Dictionary definitions for stool pigeon noun a living or dummy pigeon used to decoy others an informer for the police; nark US slang a person acting as a decoy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Cultural definitions for stool pigeon
An informer, especially for the police: “Lefty figured out that Mugsy was the stool pigeon when he saw him talking to the warden.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with stool pigeon
A decoy or informer, especially a police spy. For example,
Watch out for Doug; I'm sure he's a stool pigeon for the supervisor. This term alludes to a bird tied to a stool or similar perch in order to attract other birds, which will then be shot. However, one writer believes that stool is a variant for stale or stall, both nouns used for a decoy bird before 1500 or so. [c. 1820]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.