smoke·​stack | \ ˈsmōk-ˌstak How to pronounce smokestack (audio) \

Definition of smokestack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a pipe or funnel through which smoke and gases are discharged



Definition of smokestack (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, being, or characterized by manufacturing and especially heavy industry smokestack industries

Examples of smokestack in a Sentence


She invested in smokestack stocks. Car manufacturing and other smokestack industries need to adapt to the global economy.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But Chekatt wasn’t home on Tuesday morning when the police arrived at the fifth-floor flat overlooking a pair of smokestacks and flat-topped houses in the distance. Jamey Keaten, The Seattle Times, "Strasbourg suspect: From young criminal to fugitive attacker," 12 Dec. 2018 For now, no smokestacks tower over the baobabs; the only signs of construction are concrete discs that demarcate the forest and farmland acquired for the plant. Somini Sengupta, New York Times, "Why Build Kenya’s First Coal Plant? Hint: Think China," 27 Feb. 2018 Carbon Engineering One way to sequester carbon is to capture it from power plant or factory smokestacks and bury it underground. David Roberts, Vox, "California Gov. Jerry Brown casually drops history’s most ambitious climate target," 11 Sep. 2018 Steam rose from two smokestacks, the crew flitted among three decks, and a horn announced that departure was imminent. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "Chanel Sets Sail for New York City," 15 Nov. 2018 But contrary to liberal lore, smokestacks won’t start popping up across America. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Not the Climate Apocalypse," 21 Aug. 2018 Some simply launch chaff, but the Karlsruhe appears to also have the TORCH infrared decoy system for fooling infra-red guided missiles hunting for its smokestack. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "What a Navy Ship's Last-Ditch Defense Looks Like," 29 Sep. 2016 Clean-air controls since the 1980s largely turned off the columns of black soot that used to rise from coal smokestacks. John Raby, The Seattle Times, "Warnings over pollution met with a shrug in coal country," 3 Sep. 2018 Everything was possible and nothing was true: Conspiracies now smirk and smog in the air, issued from the giant smokestacks at InfoWars and The Gateway Pundit and the White House itself. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The 8-year-olds hacking our voting machines," 4 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The industry trend toward higher production and profits with lower employment started to run into serious trouble in the 1990s with the imposition of new environmental regulations against smokestack pollution that made coal more expensive to burn. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "What happened to coal," 21 Aug. 2018 Meanwhile, a young company in Switzerland called Climeworks was opening its first plant to capture CO2—not from relatively concentrated smokestack effluent, but from ambient air. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "First facility grabs CO₂ from the air and stores it underground," 13 Oct. 2017 Government and household consumption drove more than two thirds economic growth in the first quarter, highlighting the shift toward depending on services and away from smokestack sectors., "China’s Smaller Cities Seen Fueling a $9.7 Trillion Consumer Market," 14 June 2017 When companies have to pay for pollution, there’s less need for micromanaging laws requiring such items as smokestack scrubbers. Froma Harrop, The Denver Post, "A carbon tax is a truly good idea," 15 Feb. 2017

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


1838, in the meaning defined above


1926, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for smokestack

The first known use of smokestack was in 1838

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English Language Learners Definition of smokestack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a tall chimney on a factory, ship, etc., for carrying smoke away



English Language Learners Definition of smokestack (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly US : of or relating to companies that manufacture products in large factories


smoke·​stack | \ ˈsmōk-ˌstak How to pronounce smokestack (audio) \

Kids Definition of smokestack

: a large chimney or a pipe for carrying away smoke (as on a factory or ship)

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More from Merriam-Webster on smokestack

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with smokestack

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for smokestack

Spanish Central: Translation of smokestack

Nglish: Translation of smokestack for Spanish Speakers

Comments on smokestack

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an act or instance of returning to life

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