See more synonyms for chimney on
noun, plural chim·neys.
  1. a structure, usually vertical, containing a passage or flue by which the smoke, gases, etc., of a fire or furnace are carried off and by means of which a draft is created.
  2. the part of such a structure that rises above a roof.
  3. Now Rare. the smokestack or funnel of a locomotive, steamship, etc.
  4. a tube, usually of glass, surrounding the flame of a lamp to promote combustion and keep the flame steady.
  5. Geology.
    1. the vent of a volcano.
    2. a narrow vertical fissure between two rock faces or in a rock formation.
  6. Mining. a nearly vertical cylindrical oreshoot.
  7. British Dialect. fireplace.
verb (used with object), chim·neyed, chim·ney·ing.
  1. Mountain Climbing. to ascend or descend (a chimney) by repeated bracing of one's feet or back and feet against opposite walls.
verb (used without object), chim·neyed, chim·ney·ing.
  1. Mountain Climbing. to ascend or descend a chimney.

Origin of chimney

1300–50; Middle English chimenai < Middle French cheminee < Latin (camera) camīnāta (room) having a fireplace, equivalent to camīn(us) (< Greek kámīnos furnace) + -āta -ate1
Related formschim·ney·less, adjectivechim·ney·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for chimney

vent, hearth, flue, pipe, furnace, fireplace, stack, funnel, chase, ventilator

Examples from the Web for chimney

Contemporary Examples of chimney

Historical Examples of chimney

British Dictionary definitions for chimney


  1. a vertical structure of brick, masonry, or steel that carries smoke or steam away from a fire, engine, etc
  2. another name for flue 1 (def. 1)
  3. short for chimney stack
  4. an open-ended glass tube fitting around the flame of an oil or gas lamp in order to exclude draughts
  5. British a fireplace, esp an old and large one
  6. geology
    1. a cylindrical body of an ore, which is usually oriented vertically
    2. the vent of a volcano
  7. mountaineering a vertical fissure large enough for a person's body to enter
  8. anything resembling a chimney in shape or function

Word Origin for chimney

C14: from Old French cheminée, from Late Latin camīnāta, from Latin camīnus furnace, from Greek kaminos fireplace, oven
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

Word Origin and History for chimney

late 13c., "furnace;" early 14c., "chimney stack of a fireplace;" late 14c., "fireplace in a residential space;" from Old French cheminee "fireplace; room with a fireplace; hearth; chimney stack" (12c., Modern French cheminée), from Late Latin (camera) caminata "fireplace; room with a fireplace," from Latin caminatus, adjective of caminus "furnace, forge; hearth, oven; flue," from Greek kaminos "furnace, oven, brick kiln." Jamieson [1808] notes that in vulgar use in Scotland it always is pronounced "chimley." Chimney sweep attested from 1610s, earlier chimney sweeper (c.1500).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

chimney in Science


  1. An elongated opening in a volcano through which magma reaches the Earth's surface.
  2. A stack of minerals that have precipitated out of a hydrothermal vent on the floor of a sea or ocean. See more at hydrothermal vent.
  3. An isolated column of rock along a coastline, formed by the erosion of a sea cliff by waves. Chimneys are smaller than stacks.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.