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camouflet

[kam-uh-fley, kam-uh-fley]
noun
  1. an underground explosion of a bomb or mine that does not break the surface, but leaves an enclosed cavity of gas and smoke.
  2. the pocket formed by such an explosion.
  3. the bomb or mine so exploded and causing such a pocket.
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Origin of camouflet

1830–40; < French: literally, smoke blown in someone's face as a practical joke, Middle French chault moufflet, equivalent to chault hot (< Latin calidus) + moufflet presumably “puff, breath”; compare Walloon dial. moufler to puff up the cheeks; 1st syllable probably conformed to the expressive formative ca- (see cabbage1)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for camouflet

Historical Examples

  • We had five men buried by a camouflet—they began at once to recover the bodies.

    A Blue Devil of France

    G. P. Capart

  • Having driven the estimated distance to meet the enemy, the question constantly arises, "Will it pay us now to fire a camouflet?"

  • The camouflet totally destroys the enemy's gallery, but does not break the surface.

  • A camouflet is a small mine explosion which does not form a crater, and is calculated to destroy underground workings.

  • When an enemy mine is being dug, a camouflet destroys it before completion.