stool-pigeon

stool pigeon

noun
1.
a pigeon used as a decoy.
2.
Also called stoolie [stoo-lee] , stooly. Slang. a person employed or acting as a decoy or informer, especially for the police.

Origin:
1820–30, Americanism

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
stool pigeon
 
n
1.  a living or dummy pigeon used to decoy others
2.  an informer for the police; nark
3.  slang (US) a person acting as a decoy

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

stool pigeon
1830, Amer.Eng., said to be from notion of decoys fastened to stools to lure other pigeons. But perhaps related to stall "decoy bird" (1500), especially "a pigeon used to entice a hawk into the net" (see stall (2)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

stool pigeon definition


An informer, especially for the police: “Lefty figured out that Mugsy was the stool pigeon when he saw him talking to the warden.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang Dictionary

stool (pigeon) definition

[ˈstul ˈpɪdʒən] and [ˈstuli]
and stoolie
  1. n.
    an informer. (Originally underworld.) : Some stool pigeon spilled the works to the boys in blue. , I'm no stoolie!
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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