Definition of stooge in English:



  • 1derogatory A subordinate used by another to do unpleasant routine work.

    ‘party stooges put there to do a job on behalf of central office’
    • ‘We need to start a special project documenting political party stooges in the media.’
    • ‘Yes, obviously he was a stooge for the Republican Party.’
    • ‘Scorning the help of the secret service stooges following them, she pulled the car into a service station and told William to leave it all to her.’
    • ‘But real democracy can only come through mass movements of ordinary people, not by the orders of imperial rulers and their stooges.’
    • ‘His role as a company stooge earned him the hatred of workers at the Louisville plant.’
    • ‘He's not some bloated old Masonic corporate stooge; he's a man of the people - a liberal, even - and he wants everyone to know it.’
    • ‘His stooges would turn up at the Party meetings and block the vote.’
    • ‘He has the odd misfortune of repeatedly hiring party stooges for key assignments who stab him in the back as soon as they leave his employ.’
    • ‘Sometimes they are heroes - doctors and engineers cleaning up slums, lawyers fighting for the rights of oppressed minorities; and sometimes they are villains - stooges and lackeys of the ruling class.’
    • ‘They think I'm just some stooge here to make sure the roads and runways are clear of ice when the blizzards come.’
    • ‘The problem with Sullivan is that he's wanted to be someone's stooge for so long, he thinks his job is to support the people in power.’
    • ‘Without local stooges to stand between them and the people, they'll have to do all the oppressing themselves.’
    • ‘Unless a lot more people decide to stand as independents, and most of them get voted in in place of the traditional party stooges, there isn't a great deal we, as voters, can do.’
    • ‘We stand by and allow them to remove many democratically elected presidents from office and replace them with imperialist stooges.’
    • ‘He may, for political reasons, be deemed worthy of prosecution, but such measures will not be applied either to the imperialist leaders or their favoured stooges.’
    • ‘She will be nobody's stooge, least of all Washington's.’
    • ‘Debate was kept to a minimum and opponents of the leaders' strategy were ridiculed or heckled by their stooges in the audience.’
    • ‘On election day, he and two other stooges jammed phone lines, preventing Democrats from reaching voters in need of a ride to the polls.’
    • ‘Now, the corporate lords who fought their way up the corporate ladder from the rank of stooge to the rank of master don't care as much.’
    • ‘Human-resources staffers walk a fine line: employees see them as stooges for management, and management views them as annoying do-gooders representing employees.’
    underling, minion, lackey, subordinate, assistant
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  • 2A performer whose act involves being the butt of a comedian's jokes.

    ‘the stooge is offstage’
    • ‘As the film progresses, a one-way process of the performance is firmly established, involving the humiliation of Judy as the stooge.’
    • ‘The cheeky glove puppet fox hosts a variety and sketch show format - a procession of comic stooges play straight man and second fiddle to his antics.’
    butt, foil, straight man
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  • 1informal Move about aimlessly; drift or cruise.

    ‘she stooged around in the bathroom for a while’
    • ‘We stooged around for a while, treading air, then fired the burner, to give us a few hours of heat.’
    • ‘Well, if you couldn't be there in person, celebrating England's triumph over their traditional cricketing foe while stooging around the Caribbean would take some beating.’
    • ‘As Viola, she delivers the bard's verses with an uncommon fluency as she stooges across the stage.’
    • ‘After stooging around our patrol area for the required time and seeing nothing, it was time to return home.’
    loaf, lounge, idle, laze, languish, moon, stooge, droop, dally, dawdle, amble, potter, wander, drift, meander
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  • 2Perform a role that involves being the butt of a comedian's jokes.

    ‘his accent became popular through his stooging for comedians’


Early 20th century: of unknown origin.