smoke and mirrors


(used with a singular or plural verb) something that distorts or blurs facts, figures, etc., like a magic or conjuring trick; artful deception.

Nearby words

  1. smogbound,
  2. smoggy,
  3. smokable,
  4. smoke,
  5. smoke alarm,
  6. smoke bomb,
  7. smoke chamber,
  8. smoke detector,
  9. smoke dome,
  10. smoke out

Origin of smoke and mirrors

First recorded in 1980–85 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for smoke and mirrors

smoke and mirrors


irrelevant or misleading information serving to obscure the truth of a situation

Word Origin for smoke and mirrors

C20: reference to the use of smoke and mirrors in conjuring illusions

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