smoke screen


: a screen of smoke to hinder enemy observation of a military force, area, or activity
: 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 Understanding money will give us a sword to pierce through the smoke screen, a vehicle to reach the bottom of the rabbit hole, a lens to appreciate the economic reality of transactions, and a compass to guide choices and decision-making in healthcare and in general. Ge Bai, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 Former leaders who backed the theater project reject the charge as a baseless smoke screen for the new regime’s governance problems. Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Sep. 2023 This allows the tank to engage targets with high first-round hit accuracy, day or night, and even engage moving enemy targets through enemy smoke screens. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 6 Sep. 2023 At the rear, the DB5’s twin exhaust pipes have been repurposed as an outlet for the smoke screen. Tim Pitt, Robb Report, 20 June 2023 Standard equipment includes revolving license plates, a rear smoke screen, battering rams, and replica machine guns—in case of ambush by agents of SPECTRE. Tim Pitt, Robb Report, 20 June 2023 That was just kind of the smoke screen used. Dalton Ross,, 24 May 2021 Xu Jiayin is a smoke screen. John Lee, WSJ, 6 Oct. 2021 It’s been a smoke screen of gamesmanship by Rams coach Sean McVay about which of his quarterbacks — or both, potentially — will be trying to solve a Seahawks defense that held Los Angeles to less than 10 points for only the sixth time in McVay’s tenure less than 14 days ago. Mark Heim |, al, 9 Jan. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'smoke screen.' 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

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of smoke screen was in 1915

Dictionary Entries Near smoke screen

Cite this Entry

“Smoke screen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

smoke screen

: a screen of or as if of smoke to make observation or detection difficult

More from Merriam-Webster on smoke screen

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