One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A police informer.
informer, betrayerView synonyms
- ‘The luckless spy spent most of the war in prisons and internment camps eking out a living as a stool pigeon.’
- ‘He was a Jew who began his career as a satirist of the Nazis and ended up as their stool pigeon.’
- ‘Willis is on the run, a stool pigeon in flight from Chicago; Perry is in heavy debt, and his calculating, blackmailing wife forces him to squeal to Bruce's vengeful bosses about where the contract killer now lives, for a finder's fee.’
- ‘More often, they were prepared to play the stool pigeon not for thirty pieces of silver, but for much more mundane rewards.’
- ‘So many American mob killers have turned stool pigeon or gotten themselves arrested.’
- ‘When a mob mastermind decides to turn stool pigeon and squawk, it's up to the S.W.A.T. team to protect him.’
- ‘He monopolizes the stand to the point that it becomes his designated place to sit as much as any director's chair; he is the star witness and stool pigeon for the prosecution.’
- ‘That film concerns a stool pigeon tracked down in Spain after 10 years by hired killers working for the crime boss on whom he has informed.’
- ‘Even if I did like crooks who are stool pigeons, I still wouldn't like you!’
- ‘The song is about the ‘victim of someone's evil plan’ who gets turned in by a stool pigeon.’
2A person acting as a decoy.
Late 19th century: so named from the original use of a pigeon fixed to a stool as a decoy.
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