smoke screen

noun

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

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 But given that the U.S. and Chinese trade threats are still shaking out, some analysts wondered if Daimler was using the tariffs as a smoke screen to conceal problems with its product lineup. William Boston, WSJ, "Trade Concerns Hammer Global Auto Stocks," 21 June 2018 But migrant experts and humanitarian aid groups fear the agreement is a political smoke screen aimed at addressing the concerns of the resurgent far-right and which will only leave vulnerable people once again at risk. NBC News, "European leaders claim breakthrough deal on migration after marathon talks," 29 June 2018 Gun-control advocates call the strategy a clever smoke screen to avoid having to talk about gun control. Washington Post, "After mass shootings, NRA pins blame on familiar list," 23 May 2018 But where some South Africans see a powerful man held to account, and a warning for other politicians, others see a smoke screen. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Hands off our president': Why Zuma's charges haven't nixed his support," 8 June 2018 Featured on lot of smoke screens and simple drag routes to get the ball into his hands in space and may need time acclimating to a more sophisticated route tree... cleveland.com, "Antonio Callaway: Get to know the Browns' No. 105 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft," 28 Apr. 2018 Israel says the protests are a smoke screen for attacks on its troops and attempts to breach the border fence. Washington Post, "Israel strikes Gaza after explosive devices found on border," 9 Apr. 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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The first known use of smoke screen was in 1915

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More Definitions for smoke screen

smoke screen

noun

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

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