See also: Smoke


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From Middle English smoke, from Old English smoca (smoke), probably a derivative of the verb smocian (to smoke, emit smoke; fumigate), from Proto-Germanic *smukōną (to smoke), ablaut derivative of Proto-Germanic *smaukaną (to smoke), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)mewg- (to smoke). Related to Old English smēocan (to smoke, emit smoke; fumigate), West Frisian smoke ((to) smoke), Dutch smook (smoke), Middle Low German smôk (smoke), German Low German smoken (to smoke), dialectal German Schmauch (smoke), Bavarian schmuckelen (to smell bad, reek).



Smoke (1)

smoke (countable and uncountable, plural smokes)

  1. (uncountable) The visible vapor/vapour, gases, and fine particles given off by burning or smoldering material.
    • 2013 June 29, “Unspontaneous combustion”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 29:
      Since the mid-1980s, when Indonesia first began to clear its bountiful forests on an industrial scale in favour of lucrative palm-oil plantations, “haze” has become an almost annual occurrence in South-East Asia. The cheapest way to clear logged woodland is to burn it, producing an acrid cloud of foul white smoke that, carried by the wind, can cover hundreds, or even thousands, of square miles.
  2. (colloquial, countable) A cigarette.
    Can I bum a smoke off you?;  I need to go buy some smokes.
  3. (colloquial, uncountable) Anything to smoke (e.g. cigarettes, marijuana, etc.)
    Hey, you got some smoke?
  4. (colloquial, countable, never plural) An instance of smoking a cigarette, cigar, etc.; the duration of this act.
    I'm going out for a smoke.
  5. (uncountable, figuratively) A fleeting illusion; something insubstantial, evanescent, unreal, transitory, or without result.
    The excitement behind the new candidate proved to be smoke.
    • 1974, John le Carré, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, New York: Knopf, Chapter 6, p. 44,[1]
      I fed her a lot of smoke about a sheep station outside Adelaide and a big property in the high street with a glass front and ‘Thomas’ in lights. She didn’t believe me.
  6. (uncountable, figuratively) Something used to obscure or conceal; an obscuring condition; see also smoke and mirrors.
    The smoke of controversy.
  7. (uncountable) A light grey colour/color tinted with blue.
    smoke colour:  
  8. (military, uncountable) 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.
  9. (baseball, slang) A fastball.


Derived termsEdit


See smoke/translations § Noun.


smoke (third-person singular simple present smokes, present participle smoking, simple past and past participle smoked)

  1. (transitive) To inhale and exhale the smoke from a burning cigarette, cigar, pipe, etc.
    He's smoking his pipe.
  2. (intransitive) To inhale and exhale tobacco smoke.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, in The Celebrity:
      He used to drop into my chambers once in a while to smoke, and was first-rate company. When I gave a dinner there was generally a cover laid for him. I liked the man for his own sake, and even had he promised to turn out a celebrity it would have had no weight with me.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 12, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      To Edward [] he was terrible, nerve-inflaming, poisonously asphyxiating. He sat rocking himself in the late Mr. Churchill's swing chair, smoking and twaddling.
    Do you smoke?
  3. (intransitive) To give off smoke.
    My old truck was still smoking even after the repairs.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Milton and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Hard by a cottage chimney smokes.
  4. To preserve or prepare (food) for consumption by treating with smoke.
    You'll need to smoke the meat for several hours.
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To fill or scent with smoke; hence, to fill with incense; to perfume.
    • (Can we date this quote by Geoffrey Chaucer and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Smoking the temple.
  6. (transitive, obsolete) To make unclear or blurry.
    • 1820, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Oedipus Tyrannus; Or, Swellfoot The Tyrant: A Tragedy in Two Acts:
      Smoke your bits of glass,
      Ye loyal Swine, or her transfiguration
      Will blind your wondering eyes.
  7. (slang) To perform (e.g. music) energetically or skillfully. Almost always in present participle form.
    The horn section was really smokin' on that last tune.
  8. (US, Canada, New Zealand, slang) To beat someone at something.
    We smoked them at rugby.
  9. (transitive, US, slang) To kill, especially with a gun.
    He got smoked by the mob.
  10. (obsolete, transitive) To smell out; to hunt out; to find out; to detect.
    • c. 1604–1605, William Shakespeare, “All’s VVell, that Ends VVell”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene vi]:
      He was first smoked by the old Lord Lafeu.
    • (Can we date this quote by Chapman and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      I alone / Smoked his true person, talked with him.
    • (Can we date this quote by Addison and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Upon that [] I began to smoke that they were a parcel of mummers.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
      The squire gave him a good curse at his departure; and then turning to the parson, he cried out, "I smoke it: I smoke it. Tom is certainly the father of this bastard. []
  11. (slang, obsolete, transitive) To ridicule to the face; to mock.
  12. To burn; to be kindled; to rage.
    • Bible, Deuteronomy xxix. 20
      The anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man.
  13. To raise a dust or smoke by rapid motion.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Proud of his steeds, he smokes along the field.
  14. To suffer severely; to be punished.
  15. (transitive, US military slang) To punish for a minor offense by excessive physical exercise.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for smoke in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


  • (to inhale and exhale smoke from a burning cigarette): have a smoke

Derived termsEdit


  • Dutch: smoken


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.



  1. Of the colour known as smoke.
  2. Made of or with smoke.
    • 2006, Edwin Black, chapter 1, in Internal Combustion[2]:
      If successful, Edison and Ford—in 1914—would move society away from the [] hazards of gasoline cars: air and water pollution, noise and noxiousness, constant coughing and the undeniable rise in cancers caused by smoke exhaust particulates.


Related termsEdit

See alsoEdit