1. the visible vapor and gases given off by a burning or smoldering substance, especially the gray, brown, or blackish mixture of gases and suspended carbon particles resulting from the combustion of wood, peat, coal, or other organic matter.
  2. something resembling this, as vapor or mist, flying particles, etc.
  3. something unsubstantial, evanescent, or without result: Their hopes and dreams proved to be smoke.
  4. an obscuring condition: the smoke of controversy.
  5. an act or spell of smoking something, especially tobacco: They had a smoke during the intermission.
  6. something for smoking, as a cigar or cigarette: This is the best smoke on the market.
  7. Slang. marijuana.
  8. Slang. a homemade drink consisting of denatured alcohol and water.
  9. Physics, Chemistry. a system of solid particles suspended in a gaseous medium.
  10. a bluish or brownish gray color.
verb (used without object), smoked, smok·ing.
  1. to give off or emit smoke, as in burning.
  2. to give out smoke offensively or improperly, as a stove.
  3. to send forth steam or vapor, dust, or the like.
  4. to draw into the mouth and puff out the smoke of tobacco or the like, as from a pipe or cigarette.
  5. Slang. to ride or travel with great speed.
  6. Australian.
    1. to flee.
    2. to abscond.
verb (used with object), smoked, smok·ing.
  1. to draw into the mouth and puff out the smoke of: to smoke tobacco.
  2. to use (a pipe, cigarette, etc.) in this process.
  3. to expose to smoke.
  4. to fumigate (rooms, furniture, etc.).
  5. to cure (meat, fish, etc.) by exposure to smoke.
  6. to color or darken by smoke.
Verb Phrases
  1. smoke out,
    1. to drive from a refuge by means of smoke.
    2. to force into public view or knowledge; reveal: to smoke out the leaders of the spy ring.
  1. go up/endin smoke, to terminate without producing a result; be unsuccessful: All our dreams went up in smoke.

Origin of smoke

before 1000; (noun) Middle English; Old English smoca; (v.) Middle English smoken, Old English smocian
Related formssmoke·like, adjectivean·ti·smoke, adjective, nounun·smoked, adjectiveun·smok·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for smoked out


  1. the Smoke short for Big Smoke


  1. the product of combustion, consisting of fine particles of carbon carried by hot gases and air
  2. any cloud of fine particles suspended in a gas
    1. the act of smoking tobacco or other substances, esp in a pipe or as a cigarette or cigar
    2. the duration of smoking such substances
  3. informal
    1. a cigarette or cigar
    2. a substance for smoking, such as pipe tobacco or marijuana
  4. something with no concrete or lasting substanceeverything turned to smoke
  5. a thing or condition that obscures
  6. any of various colours similar to that of smoke, esp a dark grey with a bluish, yellowish, or greenish tinge
  7. go up in smoke or end up in smoke
    1. to come to nothing
    2. to burn up vigorously
    3. to flare up in anger
  1. (intr) to emit smoke or the like, sometimes excessively or in the wrong place
    1. to draw in on (a burning cigarette, etc) and exhale the smoke
    2. to use tobacco for smoking
  2. (intr) slang to use marijuana for smoking
  3. (tr) to bring (oneself) into a specified state by smoking
  4. (tr) to subject or expose to smoke
  5. (tr) to cure (meat, fish, cheese, etc) by treating with smoke
  6. (tr) to fumigate or purify the air of (rooms, etc)
  7. (tr) to darken (glass, etc) by exposure to smoke
  8. (intr) slang to move, drive, ride, etc, very fast
  9. (tr) obsolete to tease or mock
  10. (tr) archaic to suspect or detect
See also smoke out
Derived Formssmokable or smokeable, adjective

Word Origin for smoke

Old English smoca (n); related to Middle Dutch smieken to emit smoke
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 smoked out



late Old English smoca (rare) "fumes and volatile material given off by burning substances," related to smeocan "give off smoke," from Proto-Germanic *smuk- (cf. Middle Dutch smooc, Dutch smook, Middle High German smouch, German Schmauch), from PIE root *smeug- "to smoke; smoke" (cf. Armenian mux "smoke," Greek smykhein "to burn with smoldering flame," Old Irish much, Welsh mwg "smoke").

The more usual noun was Old English smec, which became dialectal smeech. Abusive meaning "black person" attested from 1913, American English. Smoke-eater "firefighter" is c.1930. Figurative phrase go up in smoke "be destroyed" (as if by fire) is from 1933. Smoke alarm first attested 1936; smoke-detector from 1957.



Old English smocian "to produce smoke, emit smoke," especially as a result of burning, from smoke (n.1). Meaning "to drive out or away or into the open by means of smoke" is attested from 1590s. Meaning "to apply smoke to, to cure (bacon, fish, etc.) by exposure to smoke" is first attested 1590s. In connection with tobacco, "draw fumes from burning into the mouth," first recorded 1604 in James I's "Counterblast to Tobacco." Related: Smoked; smoking. Smoking gun in figurative sense of "incontestable evidence" is from 1974.



"cigarette," slang, 1882, from smoke (n.1). Also "opium" (1884). Meaning "a spell of smoking tobacco" is recorded from 1835.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

smoked out in Science


  1. A mixture of carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other gases, usually containing particles of soot or other solids, produced by the burning of carbon-containing materials such as wood and coal.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with smoked out


In addition to the idiom beginning with smoke

  • smoke out

also see:

  • chain smoker
  • go up in flames (smoke)
  • holy cow (smoke)
  • no smoke without fire
  • watch one's dust (smoke)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.