Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

stool pigeon

noun

Simple Definition of stool pigeon

  • : a criminal who gives the police information about other criminals

Full Definition of stool pigeon

  1. 1 :  a person acting as a decoy or informer; especially :  a spy sent into a group to report (as to the police) on its activities

  2. 2 :  a pigeon used as a decoy to draw others within a net

Examples of stool pigeon

  1. <the FBI finally got a break when one of the mob boss's top henchmen turned stool pigeon>



Origin of stool pigeon

probably from the early practice of fastening the decoy bird to a stool


First Known Use: 1826

Rhymes with stool pigeon


Learn More about stool pigeon


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up stool pigeon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift duvet pince-nez kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ