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 When environmental art exhibitions occur at institutions with funding that undercuts their professed ideals, those exhibitions become a smoke screen for the ethical dissonance of the art world. New York Times, 25 Mar. 2022 If, to older and more knowing fans, the Nickelodeon telecast appeared to be yet another deft or dark-sided publicity grab, its charms are just as much a smoke screen for the realities that seem to be driving people away from football altogether. Jake Nevins, The Atlantic, 7 Feb. 2022 Hit the gas too early and the Bridgestones leave behind a smoke screen. David Beard, Car and Driver, 7 Feb. 2022 Concern for children in this context is just a smoke screen for right-wing activists with far greater ambitions. Ruth Ben-ghiat, CNN, 14 Oct. 2021 Two of the eight vehicles were built as gadget cars to house the smoke screen, the mine dispenser and the machine guns. Tony Bradley, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2021 Though behind his smoke screen policy makers have begun to act, the steps the Fed has taken so far, as should be clear, will hardly be enough if the inflation lasts. Milton Ezrati, Forbes, 3 Sep. 2021 The fog of war was supplanted by the smoke screen of jibber-jabber, with armchair Sun Tzus declaring our withdrawal from Afghanistan everything from a bold decision to a catastrophic, impeachable offense. Rex Huppke,, 31 Aug. 2021 But to be enamored with that strangeness, that perpetual smoke screen of his, means getting caught in Scratch’s most profound musical trap. Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of smoke screen

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for smoke screen

Time Traveler

The first known use of smoke screen was in 1915

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Dictionary Entries Near smoke screen

smoke sail

smoke screen

smoke shelf

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Statistics for smoke screen

Last Updated

29 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Smoke screen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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