Definition of stool in English:



  • 1A seat without a back or arms, typically resting on three or four legs or on a single pedestal.

    • ‘It was nothing extraordinary; only a knee-high circular table with four surrounding stools occupied the dusty, cramped space.’
    • ‘As I glanced around the room, I only saw a few stools and a single rusted metal couch.’
    • ‘He took a seat on his stool next to the table I was kicking my feet against.’
    • ‘They favored innovations such as pedestal tables, modular sofas, sleek sideboards, and shiny stools in place of chairs.’
    • ‘A teacher and an underwear salesman were already seated on stools around the upturned box that doubled as card and coffee table.’
    • ‘Seated on a stool next to her mother every Friday, Germaine was expected to join in the conversation.’
    • ‘From the floor, she looked up at her father, who was seated on a wooden stool.’
    • ‘I was seated on a stool, outdoors, with a balmy sub-tropical skyline behind me.’
    • ‘I nodded and took a seat on the single stool behind the counter.’
    • ‘She had been sitting on the stool for a good four hours, trying to make her creation perfect.’
    • ‘I pursed my lips and thought as I seated myself on a stool by the breakfast bar.’
    • ‘I settled back into my stool and finished the rest of my drink.’
    • ‘I plopped down in a stool and rested my forehead on the slightly sticky bar.’
    • ‘He took his seat on the stool and waited for the crowd to quieten.’
    • ‘Finally the instructor was ready and he assumed his seat on the stool.’
    • ‘Located on three levels with seating on stools, settees and at conventional tables, the place has a modern airy atmosphere.’
    • ‘Benches are more flexible than stools or individual seats because you can squeeze in more people along them.’
    • ‘He followed her inside and as she turned on the lights he took off his coat and rested on a stool at the kitchen counter.’
    • ‘He sat across from his dad, Cohen, on one of the high stools and rested his head on the breakfast bar.’
    • ‘He was seated on a café stool, and on the opposite end of the table was a young woman wearing a black overcoat.’
  • 2A piece of faeces.

    ‘fibre in the child's diet will soften the stools’
    mass noun ‘concentrations of the substance in normal stool’
    • ‘You need to be concerned if your child is having bowel movements much less often than is regular for him or her, or if the normal firmness of the stool changes.’
    • ‘Diarrhoea often occurs in the absence of recognised pathogens in the stool, and metronidazole has relieved symptoms in some cases.’
    • ‘Osmotic laxatives such as lactulose are effective alternatives to soften hard stools.’
    • ‘Roughly 5 percent of those who contract the illness become chronic carriers - excreting the typhoid bacteria in their stools for more than a year.’
    • ‘Using a catching device can prevent contamination of the stool by water and dirt.’
    • ‘She detailed the jaundice, light stools and lack of weight gain.’
    • ‘If you suspect any kind of intestinal obstruction because your child has bilious vomiting, a swollen abdomen, or bloody stools, take her to the emergency room immediately.’
    • ‘Barium causes the first stools after the scan to be a light colour, and can also cause constipation.’
    • ‘If constipation persists despite dietary modification and increased physical activity, a stool softener given with meals can be helpful.’
    • ‘The trophozoite form can't survive once excreted in the stool and therefore can't infect others.’
    • ‘Symptoms of an ulcer can include a burning pain in the stomach, chest pain, vomiting, or blood in the stools or vomit.’
    • ‘Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it.’
    • ‘More than 80 percent of acute anal fissures will heal spontaneously with the use of dietary fiber to soften and bulk the stool.’
    • ‘The onset of these symptoms coincided with an upper respiratory infection with cough, minimal sputum, nausea, anorexia, and multiple loose stools.’
    • ‘Every day we lose millions of cells from our skin, we excrete stools and urine, and we cut out hair and nails and rarely do we show any signs of wanting to keep these body elements under our control.’
    • ‘Phototherapy can give your baby loose stools, temperature problems, or dehydration.’
    • ‘Although blood in the stool suggests invasive disease, fever is not a sensitive indicator of dysentery.’
    • ‘Two thirds of pancreatic cancers develop in the head of the pancreas, and most patients present with progressive, obstructive jaundice with dark urine and pale stools.’
    • ‘And continued loss of small amounts of blood in the stool can lead to anemia.’
    • ‘The symptoms of food intolerance can include burping, indigestion, flatulence, loose stools, headaches, flushing, or nervousness.’
  • 3A root or stump of a tree or plant from which shoots spring.

  • 4US A decoy bird in hunting.


  • 1(of a plant) throw up shoots from the root.

    1. 1.1with object Cut back (a plant) to or near ground level in order to induce new growth.
      • ‘After another display next winter, they should be stooled - cut right back to within 150 mm of the base.’


  • at stool

    • When defecating.

      ‘it may be induced by a hard bowel movement or straining at stool’
      • ‘It may be induced by a hard bowel movement or straining at stool.’
      • ‘To ensure continuing relief after surgery, one must avoid constipation and straining at stool.’
      • ‘The sort of stresses that induce these changes include blowing against a resistance, lifting heavy objects, and straining at stool.’
      • ‘Along with the excruciatingly tight pain of immersing newly-scabbed knees in the bath, the most striking physical memory of that time is of straining at stool in the top bathroom.’
      • ‘Do not let patients confuse normal defecation with straining at stool.’
  • fall between two stools

    • Fail to be or take one of two satisfactory alternatives.

      ‘the work fell between two stools, being neither genuinely popular nor truly scholarly’
      • ‘This car falls between two stools for me: it's not a proper sports car or a proper family car and for this money you could afford to get a nice one of each and probably have money left over for a nice motorbike too.’
      • ‘I felt that the game fell between two stools in that it was supposed to be scary yet it presented itself as an extremely tacky 1950s horror film.’
      • ‘Endeavouring to answer the needs of a severely underfed local academic discourse, yet at the same time attempting to provide an introduction to a broader audience, it sometimes falls between two stools.’
      • ‘It is not uncommon to see such works falling between two stools: they are political statements, yet because they are works of art their political message is thought to be exempt from rigorous examination.’
      • ‘We seem to fall between two stools because the modern premises that we would like to move into are far too expensive and the older mill buildings tend to have water gushing in through the roof.’
      • ‘The play falls between two stools; social commentary and outright melodrama and does not sit happily on either.’
      • ‘Ill-defined, the show falls between two stools.’
      • ‘For some critics, the romanzo-saggio falls between two stools: it is neither exacting philosophy nor complex fiction.’
      • ‘In certain instances, this is the book's weakness in that it falls between two stools, being truly neither one nor the other.’
      • ‘Talking about his book during a recent visit to Chennai, the author suggested it ran the risk of falling between two stools since cricket fans may think it had too much history and historians may feel it has too much cricket.’


Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch stoel, German Stuhl, also to stand. Current senses of the verb date from the late 18th century.