Definition of chimney in English:



  • 1A vertical channel or pipe which conducts smoke and combustion gases up from a fire or furnace and typically through the roof of a building.

    ‘a coal fire thrust yellow flames up the chimney’
    ‘a factory chimney’
    • ‘Above the red tile roofs, wisps of smoke drifted from the chimneys.’
    • ‘The briquettes do not produce a fire hot enough to draw the combustion products up the chimney.’
    • ‘Low hills crested with trees poked from the fog like islands and a village - just a cluster of huts really - floated in the white carpet, smoke from early fires trickling from chimneys.’
    • ‘Check the flashings-the metal pieces used to waterproof interruptions in the roof plane such as pipes, chimneys and skylights.’
    • ‘Now what greets one are soot and smoke, high rise buildings and chimneys.’
    • ‘About four o'clock, smoke would go up from the chimneys, as the fire was made up and the big iron boiler, or the three-legged pot, was slung on the hook of the chimney-chain.’
    • ‘Atop the huge craft were, here and there, clusters of brassy and silvery machinery, like boilers and furnaces, with shiny chimneys that belched no smoke, but seemed only to vent a thin steam.’
    • ‘Smoke curled from the chimneys of the wooden buildings below, nothing larger than two stories high.’
    • ‘A small town was nearby as I noticed some stone, slate roofed buildings with smoking chimneys all about.’
    • ‘Most of us inhale far less smoke than our ancestors did, with their wood fires and poorly constructed chimneys, so it seems unlikely that ambient smoke can have caused the recent increase.’
    • ‘There were many houses - hundreds or even thousands with slanted, white-topped roofs and chimneys that billowed thick smoke so heavy as it hung almost frozen in the air.’
    • ‘The talk of the town was almost as important as the smoke of the factory chimneys in creating a prosperous industrial economy.’
    • ‘As a teenager, Jack Elphick used to cycle past giant factories studded with chimneys that exhaled foul smoke into a post-war Birmingham sky.’
    • ‘It chokes the flues in the smoking chimneys, damping the fires so low that they burn badly, filling the houses with noxious fumes.’
    • ‘The houses were wooden, with thatched roofs and smoking chimneys.’
    • ‘An additional 5,500 fires were attributed to chimneys and chimney connectors serving heating systems burning liquid and other fuels.’
    • ‘Rather than look at street level, he encouraged us all to look at the roofs, the chimneys, the building join lines, as they show so much more about the development of an area.’
    • ‘Hardwoods are better because they burn hotter and form less creosote, an oily, black tar that sticks to chimneys and stove pipes.’
    • ‘Images are beamed into the ops center; the towers are smoking like chimneys over the furnaces of Hell.’
    • ‘Examine the condition of the flashings around chimneys, flue pipes, vent caps and anyplace where the roof and walls intersect.’
    stack, smokestack
    flue, shaft, funnel, vent
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A chimney stack.
      ‘the outlines of rooftops and chimneys stood out against the pale sky’
      • ‘The green terraced fields and the smoke coming from the kitchen chimneys of the cottages below look like a picturesque oil painting.’
      • ‘Prisoners in Auschwitz, watching smoking crematoria chimneys from behind locked gates and electrified fences, considered Theresienstadt a place of well-being.’
      • ‘Outside it is all whitewashed walls and chimneys and inside exposed beams, plates and a roaring log fire.’
      • ‘The five-bay double-pile Georgian house has a gabled roof with dormer windows and massive chimneys that accommodate flues for fifteen fireplaces.’
      • ‘I love looking out of my study (my studio) windows and seeing rooftops, chimneys and sky rather than tram lines and shops.’
      • ‘This Christmas, there are more outside lights than ever in town and country, hanging off trees, bushes, walls, railings, rooftops and chimneys.’
      • ‘But for all its glories, Victorian was also a time of grinding hard work, belching mill chimneys and the sort of poverty scarcely imaginable today.’
      • ‘There's a little woodsmoke on the air, from the chimneys of the cottages across the valley, different from autumn bonfire smoke and infinitely sweeter.’
      • ‘Finally, while standing upon his chimney, a helicopter flew by with a ladder lowered, and yet again called for him to save himself.’
      • ‘Our room has been done up in keeping with the rest of the hotel - bold strokes of colour and decorative flourishes such as the multiple close-up photographs of the hotel chimneys.’
      • ‘Its weathered wood-shingle walls, brick chimneys and prettily striped canopied windows are set amid the maple, birch and pine clad slopes of the Laurentian mountains.’
      • ‘today we take a look back at the days when slums, mill chimneys and river docks were a more common sight.’
      • ‘It is also set among some fine church towers and mill chimneys.’
      • ‘John Gray, of Tythebarn Street, Darwen, climbed 50 feet onto the roof of the town's India Mill and then went on to the top of the chimney using ladders running up the side.’
      • ‘Anne-Marie held up her drawing of a red house with a charcoal chimney surrounded by green lawn.’
      • ‘All he wanted me to do was stand on the chimney, chuck a few bricks off and he would point the camera and it would be a film about people with funny jobs.’
      • ‘She has had to wring out water from insulation in her loft, endure water trickling down the walls in her hall and scaffolding around her chimney.’
      • ‘As you enter parkland laid out by Capability Brown, the distant view of the house's towers and chimneys is a romantic sight.’
      • ‘Colorful banners waved in the air, long strips of black and purple flickered from long poles that jutted from the rooftops of houses and chimneys.’
      • ‘Looking out of my bedroom window last night, making out the dusted redbrick chimneys of the parallel terraces, it was as if the discordance had shifted.’
      stack, smokestack
      flue, shaft, funnel, vent
      View synonyms
  • 2A glass tube protecting the flame of a lamp.

    ‘he trimmed the wick and put the glass chimney over the flame’
    • ‘The improved draft system, utilizing a glass chimney, yielded a brighter light that burned more cleanly.’
    • ‘A thermal chimney between the glass layers exhausts heat gains at the top and prevents interior heat gains.’
    • ‘The flame in the chimney flickered barely, just breathing its existence into the room, then disappeared again.’
    • ‘Integral to this burner assembly is a cylindrical glass chimney, which is placed over the burner to induce two constant upward drafts.’
    • ‘After getting the dust off the glass she lit the wide wick and replaced the chimney.’
    • ‘Afterwards we'd lie naked on the shadowy porch drinking beer and watching moths batter themselves against the lamp's chimney.’
    • ‘Ms Tomlin said: ‘We have not been able to light that one yet because the chimney is capped with a piece of lead.’’
    • ‘Let's say the item being offered is a nice old oil lamp with an unblemished glass chimney and a base with some decoration that is in good shape.’
    • ‘Add a few drops of ammonia to the rinse water for glass lamps, chimneys, and globes.’
    • ‘Candles are an inexpensive and easy-to-store lighting option, but to be safe, use them with glass chimneys.’
    • ‘I'd copied Max's Coleman, improving on the Sathe design by putting a pale glass bulb and chimney around a hollow wick.’
    • ‘It was cool and dark there, and on a low table by the bed there was already a kerosene lamp burning dully through its dirty chimney.’
    • ‘This can crack the chimney, allowing the flames to spread within the house.’
  • 3A very steep narrow cleft by which a rock face may be climbed.

    ‘he slid fifty feet down a chimney, and became wedged there’
    • ‘She whirled around as rocks fell from the chimney.’
    • ‘An offwidth is a crack which is too wide to use as a finger, hand or fist jam but too narrow to get right inside and climb as a chimney.’
    • ‘As soon as he cleared the narrow neck of the chimney, his cave light locked on to Shaw, floating eerily upright, his arms spread and the back of his head and shoulders jammed against the ceiling.’
    • ‘He went up and took a look at the cliff and rock chimneys above the pegmatites, but he didn't like heights.’
    • ‘Making stemming moves with my feet and pushing against the rock with the palm of my hand I found myself in an awkward chimney position in an open flaring section off rock.’
    • ‘After a short crawl and a climb down a narrow chimney, South Chamber is reached.’
    • ‘In these steep underwater cliff areas were chimneys of gravel that contained datolite nodules.’
    • ‘Spider up a chimney, then climb easy ramps and short steps to the top.’
    • ‘Above the chimney lies the Black Pyramid, a triangle of notoriously unstable slabs of ice and rock at about 24,500 feet.’
    • ‘It looked impossible to step onto the chimney directly above, as it was undercut at its base, and the surface was smooth, with no holds to be seen.’
    • ‘The rocks were greasy and slippery and the narrow chimneys and gullies, so delightful in dry summer conditions, were muddy and wet.’
    • ‘Sadly, I don't have photos of the chimney we climbed in the Red Banks.’
    • ‘This was followed by a level stretch of grassy scree which leads to the crux, a steep shallow chimney, well marked by crampon scratches.’
    • ‘Crawl through then traverse around the corner and along the small ledge to belay in the corner beneath the chimney.’
    • ‘This chimney was the only possible path available for us to take, unless we were to back track and find a different route, and in the process lose our last rays of sunlight.’
    • ‘Climb the obvious chimney / groove near the left hand end of the crag, stepping left at the top to finish up the steep wall above on excellent holds.’
    • ‘The chimney pushes through the steep roofline and splits in two.’
    • ‘From the recess next to the chimney climb up and left until you're right under the overhang.’
    • ‘In his long career he has climbed most of the chimneys in Bradford and left his mark on the historic Lister's Mill in Manningham.’
    • ‘The last pitch is a memorable chimney with a thorny bush that you have to climb through.’


Middle English (denoting a fireplace or furnace): from Old French cheminee chimney, fireplace, from late Latin caminata, perhaps from camera caminata room with a fireplace, from Latin caminus forge, furnace, from Greek kaminos oven.