General English

General Science

  • noun a tall tube, either inside a building or separate from it, which takes smoke and fumes away from a fire


  • A vertical, noncombustible structure with one or more flues to carry smoke and other gases of combustion into the atmosphere.

Real Estate

  • noun a hollow vertical structure, usually made of brick or steel, that allows gas, smoke or steam from a fire or furnace to escape into the atmosphere
  • noun the part of a chimney that rises above the roof of a building.
  • noun a passage or pipe inside a chimney through which smoke or steam escapes

Origin & History of “chimney”

Greek kámīnos meant ‘furnace’ (it was related to kamárā ‘vaulted room’, source of English camera and chamber). It was borrowed into Latin as camīnus, from which the adjective camīnātus ‘having a furnace, oven, etc’ was derived. By late Latin times this had become a noun, camīnāta, which passed into Old French as cheminee, and thence into English. The original meanings ‘fireplace’ and ‘stove’ persisted until the 19th century, but already in Old French the sense ‘flue’ had developed, which was finally to win out.