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smoke screen

a mass of dense smoke produced to conceal an area, vessel, or plane from the enemy.
something intended to disguise, conceal, or deceive; camouflage.
Origin of smoke screen
First recorded in 1910-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for smoke-screen
Historical Examples
  • In the rifts of the smoke-screen could be discerned the tripod masts, enormous top-hamper and up-trained guns of the monitors.

  • In the center of the smoke-screen Gregory sat at a small table, hammering away at a typewriter.

    El Diablo Brayton Norton
  • It "boomed" as it struck the water and threw out the smoke-screen in most approved navy fashion.

    Adventures in Swaziland Owen Rowe O'Neil
British Dictionary definitions for smoke-screen

smoke screen

(military) a cloud of smoke produced by artificial means to obscure movements or positions
something said or done in order to hide the truth
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
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Word Origin and History for smoke-screen

1915, as a form of military camouflage, from smoke (n.1) + screen (n.); 1926 in the figurative sense. The association of smoke with "deception, deliberate obscurity" dates back to at least 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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