\ ˈstüj How to pronounce stooge (audio) \

Definition of stooge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : one who plays a subordinate or compliant role to a principal


stooged; stooging

Definition of stooge (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to act as a stooge congressmen who stooge for the oil and mineral interestsNew Republic

Examples of stooge in a Sentence


a gangster and his stooges He's just a stooge for the oil industry.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This type of conspiracy theory is particularly harmful—for example, parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting have been relentlessly hounded by internet trolls claiming they are merely paid stooges. Peter Knight, Quartz, "Why so many people believe the moon landing was faked," 11 July 2019 The Moscow Patriarchate, which hews close to the presidency of Vladimir Putin and at times defends it from popular protest, regularly pours scorn on its counterpart in Istanbul for acting as a stooge of American diplomacy. Erasmus, The Economist, "The gift of overcoming barriers eludes the world’s Orthodox Christians," 15 June 2019 The stooge humor of rich women behaving selfishly pleasurably reflects certain recent stories in the news, including the élite-college-admissions scandal. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "“Big Little Lies” Season 2, Reviewed: Meryl, Meryl, Meryl," 9 June 2019 An episode of South Park had mocked the band as hapless stooges of Disney’s Mickey Mouse. Jason Gay, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jonas Brothers: From Pop Stars to Rock Stars," 6 June 2019 Billionaires are buying and dismembering local papers across the country, and now Sinclair Broadcast Group, thanks to Trump's FCC stooge Ajit Pai, is poised to control local news stations for 72 percent of the country. Luke Darby, GQ, "Trump Has the Most Success Wherever People Read the Least News," 9 Apr. 2018 Despite what could be a thankless role as a government stooge, he more than keeps up with the cogs turning around him. Karen Han, Vox, "Homecoming, starring Julia Roberts, is simpler than it appears — and a pleasure to watch," 2 Nov. 2018 North Korea still considers South Korea an American stooge. Choe Sang-hun, New York Times, "North Korea’s Sudden Shift Puts South’s Leader on the Spot," 17 May 2018 By contrast, Samuel may be a stooge, a tool and a deeply misguided individual, but Pattinson is nonetheless the movie’s most surprising, off-kilter and delightful element. Justin Chang,, "Robert Pattinson delights in the sly, archly comic western 'Damsel'," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stooge.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of stooge


1913, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1939, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stooge


origin unknown

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Dictionary Entries near stooge

stony share







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Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

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The first known use of stooge was in 1913

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English Language Learners Definition of stooge

disapproving : a weak or unimportant person who is controlled by a powerful person, organization, etc.
: a performer in a show who says and does foolish things that other performers make jokes about

More from Merriam-Webster on stooge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stooge

Nglish: Translation of stooge for Spanish Speakers

Comments on stooge

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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