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verb (used with or without object), chain-smoked, chain-smoking.
  1. to smoke continually, as by lighting one cigarette, cigar, etc., from the preceding one.

Origin of chain-smoke

First recorded in 1930–35
Related formschain smoker, chain-smok·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for chain smoker


  1. to smoke (cigarettes, etc) continually, esp lighting one from the preceding one
Derived Formschain smoker, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with chain smoker

chain smoker

One who smokes continually by lighting a new cigarette from the one being finished, as in Before they forbade smoking, bridge tournaments often attracted players who are chain smokers. [c. 1930]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.