chim·​ney ˈchim-nē How to pronounce chimney (audio)
plural chimneys
dialect : fireplace, hearth
: a vertical structure incorporated into a building and enclosing a flue or flues that carry off smoke
especially : the part of such a structure extending above a roof
: a tube usually of glass placed around a flame (as of a lamp)
: something resembling a chimney: such as
: a narrow cleft or passage in rock
: a tall column of rock on the ocean floor that is formed by the precipitation of minerals from superheated water issuing from a hydrothermal vent and rising through the column of rock
chimneylike adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Hearths were convenient, located near an outer wall to ensure safety for the heat to escape through the chimney. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, 24 Nov. 2022 There was a fire in the walls possibly from the chimney or oil burner, Oquendo said. Mike Mavredakis, Hartford Courant, 18 Nov. 2022 This silver barrette, shaped like a butterfly, is the chimney to the soul. Talia Argondezzi, The New Yorker, 12 Nov. 2022 Which country has a tradition of a witch dropping gifts for children through the chimney at Christmas? Kristen Adaway, Woman's Day, 17 Oct. 2022 Black smoke appears to rise from chimney-like formations of the hottest and deepest known hydrothermal vents on Earth. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 14 Oct. 2022 Chris grabbed an extension cord and, outside, attempted to tie himself and Lumley to the chimney, but rising storm water washed them onto the nearby deck, Romano said. Molly Hennessy-fiske, Washington Post, 30 Sep. 2022 Dolly has an elevator in her house, and in the basement the elevator door is decorated like a chimney. Jason Sheeler, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Nov. 2022 Nowadays, Parton has her own traditions, including decorating an elevator in her house like a chimney on the basement floor. Brenton Blanchet, Peoplemag, 10 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chimney.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French chiminee, from Late Latin caminata, from Latin caminus furnace, fireplace, from Greek kaminos; perhaps akin to Greek kamara vault

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of chimney was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near chimney

Cite this Entry

“Chimney.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


chim·​ney ˈchim-nē How to pronounce chimney (audio)
plural chimneys
: a vertical structure extending above the roof of a building for carrying off smoke
: a tube usually of glass around a flame (as of a lamp)
: something resembling a chimney
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.