Definition of stoker in US English:



  • 1A person who tends the furnace on a steamship or steam locomotive.

    • ‘The engineer said he had heard they were intended for stokers but these were never applied.’
    • ‘He was sometimes a hard drinker and a staunch trade unionist who came to Australia as a stoker in 1910 and jumped ship.’
    • ‘When they do get around to it, they perform some of the most inventive numbers ever put on film - their bravura roller-skate through Central Park and Fred's romp in an immaculate white engine room accompanied by an ensemble of black stokers.’
    • ‘An example is the Yemeni community of South Shields, which began at the end of the 19th century when Yemenis working as stokers on steamships moved ashore and set up boarding houses in the dock area.’
    • ‘The victim of the gunshots was a stoker in a local brewery, an innocent working-class man, with a pregnant wife and six children.’
    • ‘With his fellow stokers, he rushed to help those trapped below deck.’
    • ‘Forty cooks will prepare her meals, 120 divers will serve her, 200 mine warfare ratings, almost 300 stokers - fully 1000 sailors will serve this mighty little ship.’
    • ‘By chapter 20, when he meets the bereaved man on the platform at Euston, he is ‘a-doin pretty well’ working as a stoker on the railway service running between London and Birmingham.’
    • ‘As an egalitarian, I liked the appellate tribunal's manner of lumping together porters, stokers, stretcher bearers, and doctors.’
    • ‘‘I deeply respect the stokers and sailors who are below decks working in the most oppressive and most demanding conditions,’ he said.’
    • ‘One was of a stoker billeted in Collingwood Block who awoke one night to see his blanket held up at the end of his bed with no visible means of support!’
    • ‘Billy's conversion arises from a major strike by stokers and dockers.’
    • ‘Four burly engine room stokers are eventually drafted in to take it downstairs.’
    • ‘Stamp's father was a stoker on the Thames boats and the family lived in the East End in near penury.’
    • ‘His singing career started when he was working as a stoker in a glass factory in his hometown of Huzhou in neighbouring Zhejiang Province.’
    • ‘She was 190 feet long with a complement of 90 officers, engineers, seamen, carpenters, servants, stokers, and marines.’
    • ‘He was a Navy stoker ready to board the fatal expedition, when a last minute order by his Captain to forgo the operation and remain ashore saved his life.’
    • ‘As he pointed out, many human lives, such as those of stokers and colliers, were already being used to serve machinery.’
    • ‘Yank is the authority among the stokers and refers to the stokehole as ‘home’.’
    • ‘Four of them were shipmates from the old Type 21 frigate HMS Avenger, stokers from 3D Mess, two of whom now live in Lancashire, one in Merseyside and the other in Guernsey.’
    1. 1.1 A mechanical device for supplying fuel to a firebox or furnace, especially on a steam locomotive.
      • ‘She looked back at her brother who was glaring deadly at the man, he picked up the fire stoker and pointed it at the man, ‘Hurt her, and I will kill you.’’
      • ‘New boilers and stokers resulted in a mostly new locomotive.’
      • ‘As factors in fuel economy I do not think mechanical stokers fill the bill.’
      • ‘A hydro-static lubricator in the cab supplies the booster and the stoker.’


Mid 17th century: from Dutch, from stoken ‘stoke a furnace’, from Middle Dutch stoken ‘push, poke’; related to stick.