chim·​ney | \ ˈchim-nē How to pronounce chimney (audio) \
plural chimneys

Definition of chimney

1 dialect : fireplace, hearth
2 : 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
4 : a tube usually of glass placed around a flame (as of a lamp)
5 : something resembling a chimney: such as
a : a narrow cleft or passage in rock
b : 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

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Other Words from chimney

chimneylike \ ˈchim-​nē-​ˌlīk How to pronounce chimneylike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of chimney in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Engineers debate whether current building codes are enough to keep chimneys safe, and whether reinforcing old ones simply creates a single unit that will fall over. Steve Carney,, "The 9 earthquake hazards lurking in your home," 13 July 2019 Homeowner Marilyn McKee was inside her home when her chimney collapsed. CBS News, "Some California residents so rattled by big earthquakes they're sleeping outside," 8 July 2019 The tiled courtyard at the entrance resembles an underwater forest; the roof terrace has chimneys shaped like helmets. Raphael Minder,, "What’s it like to live in Barcelona’s most famous Gaudí home? A bit inconvenient," 29 June 2019 These chimney-like structures allow tube worms, clams, mussels, and other organisms to survive not via photosynthesis but chemosynthesis, in which microbes convert chemicals released by the vents into energy. Paul Chesley, National Geographic, "Our oceans are under attack by climate change, overfishing," 21 Mar. 2019 Though cabins often appear in Mr. Ross’s landscapes, they are rarely depicted with chimneys (another sign of people). Larry Buchanan, New York Times, "Where Are All the Bob Ross Paintings? We Found Them.," 12 July 2019 Leonel Rondon, 18, of Lawrence, died Sept. 13 after the chimney of an exploding house crashed onto his car and crushed him. Washington Post, "Family of teen killed during gas explosions settles lawsuit," 9 July 2019 There were no fire or injuries reported, but the lightning caused a large hole in the side of the home, damage to the chimney, and electrical damage, Ranno said. Shafaq Patel,, "2 Mass. houses damaged by lightning strikes Sunday afternoon," 30 June 2019 The teenager, who has not been identified, got locked out of her family’s Inglewood home and decided to climb through the chimney to get inside, a neighbor told ABC affiliate KABC. Char Adams,, "14-Year-Old Girl Gets Stuck in Chimney After Locking Herself Out of Family's California Home," 7 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of chimney

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chimney

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

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Statistics for chimney

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chimney

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

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More Definitions for chimney



English Language Learners Definition of chimney

: a part of a building through which smoke rises into the outside air especially : the part that sticks up above the roof
: a tall narrow opening through a large piece of rock (such as a cliff) that can be used for climbing the rock


chim·​ney | \ ˈchim-nē How to pronounce chimney (audio) \
plural chimneys

Kids Definition of chimney

: a structure that allows smoke to escape (as from a fireplace) and that is often made of brick

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More from Merriam-Webster on chimney

Spanish Central: Translation of chimney

Nglish: Translation of chimney for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chimney for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about chimney

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of or relating to the heavens

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