smoke screen


Definition of smoke screen

1 : a screen of smoke to hinder enemy observation of a military force, area, or activity
2 : something designed to obscure, confuse, or mislead

Examples of smoke screen in a Sentence

His campaign promises were just a smoke screen. The truth was hidden behind a smoke screen of lies.
Recent Examples on the Web Despite its flammability, the U.S. military typically does not use white phosphorus as a weapon but rather for marking purposes or to create smoke screens. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Oops! An A-10 Warthog Accidentally Fired a Rocket During a Training Flight," 9 Sep. 2019 One winning bidder is now legally able to drive in an actual James Bond Aston Martin, with working nail spreaders, tire slashers, smoke screen and rotating license plates. Wire Service, The Mercury News, "This James Bond Aston Martin was just auctioned for $6.4 million in Monterey," 16 Aug. 2019 National environmental groups say the safety issue is a smoke screen to create a road that would eventually be opened to commercial traffic. Dan Joling, Anchorage Daily News, "Deal reached on land swap for road through Izembek wildlife refuge," 25 July 2019 All 13 of its Bond modifications are fully-functioning, including a Browning .30 caliber machine gun in each fender, wheel-hub mounted tire-slashers, smoke screen dispensers, revolving license plates and more, says RM Sotheby’s. Rebekah Tuchscherer, USA TODAY, "With a license to drive and $4 million, you can buy James Bond's Aston Martin from 'Goldfinger'," 13 June 2019 From the documentation Facebook has given, a reasonable person might conclude that the problem statement exists entirely as a smoke screen. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, "Facebook’s Libra probably won’t help people without bank accounts," 27 June 2019 All of the Bond modifications are fully functioning following a full restoration, so the winning bidder will be able to make use of smoke screen dispensers, revolving license plates, and a passenger-seat ejection system. Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Aston Martin DB5: James Bond car to fetch up to $6 million at Monterey auction," 13 June 2019 Opponents of marijuana legalization say that addressing the racial disparity in arrests in noble, but call it a smoke screen by the pot industry to keep minority and poor communities hooked on the drug. Leon Stafford, ajc, "Forest Park lessens possession penalty on small amounts of marijuana," 6 July 2018 The kink community thinks Schneiderman is using role-play as a smoke screen for abuse, subverting its own struggle for acceptance. New York Times, "News of an ‘Outrage’ Used to Mean Something Very, Very Different," 23 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'smoke screen.' 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 smoke screen

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for smoke screen

Last Updated

28 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for smoke screen

The first known use of smoke screen was in 1915

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More Definitions for smoke screen

smoke screen


English Language Learners Definition of smoke screen

: something that you do or say to hide something or to take attention away from something
: a cloud of thick smoke that is used to hide ships, soldiers, etc.

Comments on smoke screen

What made you want to look up smoke screen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not being in agreement or harmony

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