stool pigeon


Definition of stool pigeon

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

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Examples of stool pigeon in a Sentence

the FBI finally got a break when one of the mob boss's top henchmen turned stool pigeon
Recent Examples on the Web They are barred from using certain language during debates including git, guttersnipe, swine and stool pigeon. Max Colchester, WSJ, "Rule Book from 1844 Becomes a Must-Read in Brexit Debate," 3 Jan. 2019

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

First Known Use of stool pigeon

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stool pigeon

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

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Time Traveler for stool pigeon

Time Traveler

The first known use of stool pigeon was in 1826

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Cite this Entry

“Stool pigeon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for stool pigeon

stool pigeon


English Language Learners Definition of stool pigeon

chiefly US, informal : a criminal who gives the police information about other criminals

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