smoke

Definitions

General English

General Science

  • noun a white, grey or black mass of small particles in the air, produced by something which is burning

Aviation

  • verb to give off smoke
  • verb to breathe in smoke from a cigarette, cigar, etc.

Cars & Driving

  • noun the visible product of combustion; a common problem with diesel cars on starting or pulling hard, caused by too much fuel (black smoke) or oil (blue smoke)

Construction

  • A suspension in air of particles that are usually solid.
  • Carbon or soot particles less than 0.1 micron in size, resulting from incomplete combustion, such as of oil, wood, or coal.

Food

  • noun vapour and gas given off when something burns
  • verb to preserve food such as meat, fish, bacon or cheese by hanging it in the smoke from a fire

Medical

  • noun a white, grey or black product made of small particles, given off by something which is burning
  • verb to breathe in smoke from a cigarette, cigar or pipe which is held in the lips

Military

  • noun particles of carbon produced by a burning object or substance, which are suspended in the air to form a thick black or white cloud
  • noun any projectile or grenade which is designed to produce smoke, in order to blind the enemy or to hide the movements of friendly forces

Slang

  • noun London or any large town or city (in British and Australian usage). The word was first recorded in this sense in 1864 referring to London. It usually evokes the city as seen by those who are not native to it or are in temporary exile from it.

Origin & History of “smoke”

Smoke has close relatives in German schmauch and Dutch smook, now specialized in meaning to ‘thick smoke’. And more distantly it is linked to Welsh mwg and Breton moged ‘smoke’, Lithuanian smaugti ‘choke with smoke’, Greek smugenai ‘be consumed with heat’, and Armenian mux ‘smoke’. The use of the verb smoke in connection with tobacco is first recorded in 1604, in James I’s Counterblast to Tobacco.
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