chain-smoked; chain-smoking; chain-smokes

transitive + intransitive

: to smoke something, especially cigarettes, continually
… the modest kitchen where she sits chain-smoking at a cluttered table.Mark Binelli
He wore steel-rimmed eyeglasses, chain-smoked cigarettes, and behaved like a cross between General Douglas MacArthur and a movie producer's dream of a dynamic newspaperman.Russell Baker
chain-smoker noun

Examples of chain-smoke in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web No longer do employees openly chain-smoke like Don Draper in the offices or have a bar cart to take shots from. Chloe Berger, Fortune, 13 Jan. 2024 Nobody needs to pack heat or chain-smoke to savor the darkly seductive allure of noir. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 16 May 2023 Long ago, on gloomy February days with the roads a mess, car salespeople in Massachusetts would chain-smoke and complain how few customers came into their showrooms during the coldest, shortest month of the year. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, 18 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chain-smoke.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1890, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chain-smoke was in 1890

Dictionary Entries Near chain-smoke

Cite this Entry

“Chain-smoke.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to smoke cigarettes one right after another
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