from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun 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.
  • noun A suspension of fine solid or liquid particles in a gaseous medium.
  • noun A cloud of fine particles.
  • noun Something insubstantial, unreal, or transitory.
  • noun The act of smoking a form of tobacco.
  • noun The duration of this act.
  • noun Informal Tobacco in a form that can be smoked, especially a cigarette.
  • noun A substance used in warfare to produce a smoke screen.
  • noun Something used to conceal or obscure.
  • noun A pale to grayish blue to bluish or dark gray.
  • noun Baseball Pitches thrown at high velocity; fast balls.
  • intransitive verb To draw in and exhale smoke from a cigarette, cigar, or pipe.
  • intransitive verb To engage in smoking regularly or habitually.
  • intransitive verb To emit smoke or a smokelike substance.
  • intransitive verb To emit smoke excessively.
  • intransitive verb To go or proceed at high speed.
  • intransitive verb To play or perform energetically.
  • intransitive verb To draw in and exhale the smoke of (tobacco, for example).
  • intransitive verb To do so regularly or habitually.
  • intransitive verb To preserve (meat or fish) by exposure to the aromatic smoke of burning hardwood, usually after pickling in salt or brine.
  • intransitive verb To fumigate (a house, for example).
  • intransitive verb To expose (animals, especially insects) to smoke in order to immobilize or drive away.
  • intransitive verb To expose (glass) to smoke in order to darken or change its color.
  • intransitive verb To kill; murder.
  • intransitive verb To defeat decisively, as in a competition.
  • intransitive verb Baseball To throw (a pitch) at high velocity.
  • idiom (smoke and mirrors) Something that deceives or distorts the truth.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To get away; skip; skedaddle.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Anything that resembles smoke; steam; vapor; watery exhalations; dust.
  • noun Hence Something unsubstantial; something ephemeral or transient: as, the affair ended in smoke.
  • noun The act or process of drawing in and puffing out the fumes of burning tobacco, opium, or the like.
  • noun A chimney.
  • 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.


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").



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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