from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The vaporous system made up of small particles of carbonaceous matter in the air, resulting mainly from the burning of organic material, such as wood or coal.
  • n. A suspension of fine solid or liquid particles in a gaseous medium.
  • n. A cloud of fine particles.
  • n. Something insubstantial, unreal, or transitory.
  • n. The act of smoking a form of tobacco: went out for a smoke.
  • n. The duration of this act.
  • n. Informal Tobacco in a form that can be smoked, especially a cigarette: money to buy smokes.
  • n. A substance used in warfare to produce a smoke screen.
  • n. Something used to conceal or obscure.
  • n. A pale to grayish blue to bluish or dark gray.
  • intransitive v. To draw in and exhale smoke from a cigarette, cigar, or pipe: It's forbidden to smoke here.
  • intransitive v. To engage in smoking regularly or habitually: He smoked for years before stopping.
  • intransitive v. To emit smoke or a smokelike substance: chimneys smoking in the cold air.
  • intransitive v. To emit smoke excessively: The station wagon smoked even after the tune-up.
  • intransitive v. Slang To go or proceed at high speed.
  • intransitive v. Slang To play or perform energetically: The band was really smoking in the second set.
  • transitive v. To draw in and exhale the smoke of (tobacco, for example): I've never smoked a panatela.
  • transitive v. To do so regularly or habitually: I used to smoke filtered cigarettes.
  • transitive v. To preserve (meat or fish) by exposure to the aromatic smoke of burning hardwood, usually after pickling in salt or brine.
  • transitive v. To fumigate (a house, for example).
  • transitive v. To expose (animals, especially insects) to smoke in order to immobilize or drive away.
  • transitive v. To expose (glass) to smoke in order to darken or change its color.
  • transitive v. Slang To kill; murder.
  • smoke out To force out of a place of hiding or concealment by or as if by the use of smoke.
  • smoke out To detect and bring to public view; expose or reveal: smoke out a scandal.
  • idiom smoke and mirrors Something that deceives or distorts the truth: Your explanation is nothing but smoke and mirrors.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The visible vapor/vapour, gases, and fine particles given off by burning or smoldering material.
  • n. A cigarette.
  • n. An instance of smoking a cigarette, cigar, etc.; the duration of this act.
  • n. A fleeting illusion; something insubstantial, evanescent, unreal, transitory, or without result.
  • n. Something used to obscure or conceal; an obscuring condition; see also smoke and mirrors.
  • n. A light grey colour/color tinted with blue.
  • n. A particulate of solid or liquid particles dispersed into the air on the battlefield to degrade enemy ground or for aerial observation. Smoke has many uses--screening smoke, signaling smoke, smoke curtain, smoke haze, and smoke deception. Thus it is an artificial aerosol.
  • n. A fastball.
  • n. (The Smoke) London
  • v. To inhale and exhale the smoke from a burning cigarette, cigar, pipe, etc.
  • v. To inhale and exhale tobacco smoke regularly or habitually.
  • v. To give off smoke.
  • v. To preserve or prepare (food) for consumption by treating with smoke.
  • v. To perform (e.g. music) energetically or skillfully. Almost always in present participle form.
  • v. To kill, especially with a gun.
  • v. To beat someone at something.
  • v. To fill or scent with smoke; hence, to fill with incense; to perfume.
  • v. To smell out; to hunt out; to find out; to detect.
  • v. To ridicule to the face; to quiz.
  • adj. Of the colour known as smoke.
  • adj. Made of or with smoke.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The visible exhalation, vapor, or substance that escapes, or expelled, from a burning body, especially from burning vegetable matter, as wood, coal, peat, or the like.
  • n. That which resembles smoke; a vapor; a mist.
  • n. Anything unsubstantial, as idle talk.
  • n. The act of smoking, esp. of smoking tobacco.
  • intransitive v. To emit smoke; to throw off volatile matter in the form of vapor or exhalation; to reek.
  • intransitive v. Hence, to burn; to be kindled; to rage.
  • intransitive v. To raise a dust or smoke by rapid motion.
  • intransitive v. To draw into the mouth the smoke of tobacco burning in a pipe or in the form of a cigar, cigarette, etc.; to habitually use tobacco in this manner.
  • intransitive v. To suffer severely; to be punished.
  • transitive v. To apply smoke to; to hang in smoke; to disinfect, to cure, etc., by smoke
  • transitive v. To fill or scent with smoke; hence, to fill with incense; to perfume.
  • transitive v. To smell out; to hunt out; to find out; to detect.
  • transitive v. To ridicule to the face; to quiz.
  • transitive v. To inhale and puff out the smoke of, as tobacco; to burn or use in smoking.
  • transitive v. To subject to the operation of smoke, for the purpose of annoying or driving out; -- often with out.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To emit smoke; throw off volatile matter in the form of vapor or exhalation; reek; fume; especially, to send off visible vapor as the product of combustion.
  • To burn; be kindled; rage; fume.
  • To raise a dust or smoke by rapid motion.
  • To smell or hunt something out; suspect something; perceive a hidden fact or meaning.
  • To permit the passage of smoke outward instead of drawing it upward; send out smoke for want of sufficient draft: said of chimneys, stoves, etc.
  • To draw fumes of burning tobacco, opium, or the like, into, and emit them from, the mouth; use tobacco or opium in this manner.
  • To suffer as from overwork or hard treatment; be punished.
  • To emit dust, as when beaten.
  • To apply smoke to; blacken with smoke; hang in smoke; medicate or dry by smoke; fumigate: as, to smoke infected clothing; to subject to the action of smoke, as meat; cure by means of smoke; smoke-dry; also, to incense.
  • To affect in some way with smoke; especially, to drive or expel by smoke: generally with out; also, to destroy or kill, as bees, by smoke.
  • To draw smoke from into the mouth and puff it out; also, to burn or use in smoking; inhale the smoke of: as, to smoke tobacco or opium; to smoke a pipe or a cigar.
  • To smell out; find out; scent; perceive; perceive the meaning of; suspect.
  • To sneer at; quiz; ridicule to one's face.
  • To raise dust from by beating; “dust”: as, I'll smoke his jacket for him.
  • To get away; skip; skedaddle.
  • n. The exhalation, visible vapor, or material that escapes or is expelled from a burning substance during combustion: applied especially to the volatile matter expelled from wood, coal, peat, etc., together with the solid matter which is carried off in suspension with it, that expelled from metallic substances being more generally called fume or fumes.
  • n. Anything that resembles smoke; steam; vapor; watery exhalations; dust.
  • n. Hence Something unsubstantial; something ephemeral or transient: as, the affair ended in smoke.
  • n. The act or process of drawing in and puffing out the fumes of burning tobacco, opium, or the like.
  • n. A chimney.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an indication of some hidden activity
  • n. the act of smoking tobacco or other substances
  • n. street names for marijuana
  • v. inhale and exhale smoke from cigarettes, cigars, pipes
  • n. tobacco leaves that have been made into a cylinder
  • n. a cloud of fine particles suspended in a gas
  • n. (baseball) a pitch thrown with maximum velocity
  • n. a hot vapor containing fine particles of carbon being produced by combustion
  • n. something with no concrete substance
  • v. emit a cloud of fine particles


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old English smoca.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English smoke, from Old English smoca ("smoke"), probably a derivative of the verb smocian ("to smoke, emit smoke; fumigate"), from Proto-Germanic *smukōnan (“to smoke”), ablaut derivative of Proto-Germanic *smeukanan (“to smoke”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)meug(h)- (“to smoke”). Related to Old English smēocan ("to smoke, emit smoke; fumigate"), Dutch smook ("smoke"), Middle Low German smōk ("smoke"), German dialectal Schmauch ("smoke"), Bavarian schmuckelen ("to smell bad, reek").


  • The suffering man ought really 'to consume his own smoke;' there is no good in emitting _smoke_ till you have made it into _fire_, -- which, in the metaphorical sense too, all smoke is capable of becoming!

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  • Lately, the term "smoke and mirrors" has come up when looking back on Buffalo's 4-1 start.

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  • “Would it kill you to just use the word smoke bomb?”

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  • According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Jerry Dearly of the Lakota nation spread sweet, thin smoke from a "bear root" incense held in a shell over the playing surface.

  • Dust might be defined as smoke which had settled, and the term smoke applied to solid particles still suspended in the air.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 443, June 28, 1884

  • I can see how it will be good if you cover a huge rural area - like Salisbury Plain or the Lake District, but to suggest its for officer safety in the smoke is a complete fabrication, they want to know who hangs about where and how many people actually turn up to jobs to back colleagues up ‘unnecessarily’ without officially putting up for it.

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  • Encompassing all elements of a successful celebration: good food, excellent company, fun flirtation, energetic music and, of course, watching something go up in smoke, which is a stunningly appropriate (metaphorically speaking) way to end one year and begin another in this chronic chaos that is my existence.

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  • But if you look at what she said in that statement, for example, to see how she turns things into what I call smoke and mirrors.

    CNN Transcript Oct 13, 2007

  • A generally accepted alternative to either is just the word smoke, almost inevitably said with a lowered voice tone to distinguish between marijuana and cigarettes.

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  • With what gusto he presses it and watches what he calls the smoke pouring from the chimney.

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  • "'Because we're sort of in a bit of a dip, we couldn't see off into the distance, we couldn't see the flame, it was just smoke everywhere.'

    Sue's 14-year-old son helped fight the fire. It was only after the event that Sue realised how scared he might have been.

    'He didn't show any sign of fear at the time during the actual fire, but he did say to me afterwards that he went inside and hid under his sheets because he felt safe in there and I felt he went into himself a little bit from then,' she said."

    - Children of the bushfires face emotional recovery,, 10 Feb 2009.

    February 10, 2009