AskDefine | Define stoop

Dictionary Definition



1 an inclination of the top half of the body forward and downward
2 basin for holy water [syn: stoup]
3 small porch or set of steps at the front entrance of a house [syn: stoep]


1 bend one's back forward from the waist on down; "he crouched down"; "She bowed before the Queen"; "The young man stooped to pick up the girl's purse" [syn: crouch, bend, bow]
2 debase oneself morally, act in an undignified, unworthy, or dishonorable way; "I won't stoop to reading other people's mail" [syn: condescend, lower oneself]
3 descend swiftly, as if on prey; "The eagle stooped on the mice in the field"
4 sag, bend, bend over or down; "the rocks stooped down over the hiking path"
5 carry oneself, often habitually, with head, shoulders, and upper back bent forward; "The old man was stooping but he could walk around without a cane"

User Contributed Dictionary


Etymology 1

From Dutch stoep, "platform", "pavement". Cognate with English "step". Stoop is a North American English word and entered the American continent via South Africa, where it is used in its Dutch form stoep, and denotes a raised veranda.



  1. A small porch, unroofed platform, or raised veranda leading to a main entrance.
    The workers made a stoop in front of the door.


Etymology 2

From Anglo-Saxon stupian, "to bow", "to bend". Cognate with English "steep".


  1. A stooping (ie. bent, see the "Verb" section below) position of the body
    The old man walked with a stoop.


  1. To bend one's self, or one's head, forward and downward.
    He stooped to tie his shoe-laces.
  2. To lower oneself; to demean or do something below one's status, standards, or morals.
    Can you believe that a salesman would stoop so low as to hide his customers' car keys until they agreed to the purchase?


Extensive Definition

Stoop may refer to:
  • a dive toward prey by a bird of prey such as a falcon. During a stoop the raptor folds its wings and makes its body shape as streamlined as possible, although the stoop is still under control by altering the tail and extending a wing-tip when and where necessary. Towards the end of the stoop, the falcon swings its talons forward, ready to catch or hit its prey
  • urban stoop, a small staircase leading to the entrance of an apartment building or dwelling in an urban or suburban setting
  • a pejorative term for a member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party of Northern Ireland (SDLP). Originally developed by those associated with Provisional Sinn Féin from an alternative translation of SDLP - Stoop Down Low Party, meant to indicate the SDLPs more conciliatory approach to dealing with the governments of the UK and Ireland. It has since been taken back by the SDLP and their supporters, who use it as a personal, non-derogatory description.
  • a slang term for a stew containing no meat, instead made with beans, lentils and rice, and eaten by vegetarians. The term refers to it being neither a stew (due to no meat), nor a soup (as the beans, lentils and rice when combined are protein equivalents of meat, in terms of essential amino acid availability).
See also stoup, a basin for holding holy water.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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