Definition of smokescreen in English:



  • 1A cloud of smoke created to conceal military operations.

    ‘troops laid down a smokescreen to cover the rescue of the victims’
    • ‘Wing Commander Frank Brock, a director of the company, used his background and passion for explosives and incendiaries to develop a smokescreen to conceal battleships at sea.’
    • ‘Desultory firing continued for two days amid fog, smokescreens, and increasing confusion, before the operation was eventually abandoned.’
    • ‘We use them [white phosphorus munitions] primarily as obscurants, for smokescreens or target marking in some cases.’
    • ‘They thought that it was a smokescreen to disguise the movement forwards of German troops.’
    1. 1.1 A ruse designed to disguise someone's real intentions or activities.
      ‘he tried to create a smokescreen by quibbling about the statistics’
      • ‘There's no attempt to cloud its intentions behind a smokescreen of law enforcement or national security - although the Secure PC is an advance on current standards.’
      • ‘It's just hard to sort out the real issues from the smokescreens as the rhetoric heats up this election year.’
      • ‘We are now left to wonder whether the publicly-advertised trials of GM crops were only a smokescreen to divert attention away from the real, clandestine experiments.’
      • ‘I do find, because I work alongside lots of other artists and producers, that pretense could be a smokescreen for insecurity.’
      • ‘All of it in the end is an elaborate smokescreen to prevent us seeing the real issue: which is not a matter of trust but of judgment.’
      • ‘Many on the left see moral arguments as a smokescreen over the real conflict - the struggle over who gets what.’
      • ‘It's all a smokescreen, a diversionary tactic to take the focus off of certain questions those who failed this country that day don't want aired.’
      • ‘I respond by cutting through the smokescreen and getting to the real facts, which they are hiding from you.’
      • ‘Sieuraj knocked Government's push for the passage of the police reform bills which he described as public relations tactics and a smokescreen.’
      • ‘According to the site, the old adage ‘Men are from Mars, women are from Venus’ is merely a smokescreen - felines are the real Martians.’
      • ‘Gardai claim that a proposed marriage between a Corkman and a Romanian girl charged in a credit card scam is only a smokescreen to obtain a residency permit.’
      • ‘Jimmy reckons that the Charlie denials are a smokescreen - distracting from the actual real rumour.’
      • ‘More likely, it's another smokescreen designed to increase the public's general paranoia and portray the Department of Homeland Security as anything but incompetent.’
      • ‘Hague last night insisted that he would not be silenced by accusations of racism, which he said were designed as a smokescreen to hide Labour's problems over asylum.’
      • ‘Why don't you spend your valuable time actually answering Blair's accusation, or is this a nice little smokescreen to disguise the fact that you haven't got a leg to stand on?’
      • ‘Behind a smokescreen of good intentions, the project continues.’
      • ‘It's not even clear the Cheney administration ever had any serious intention of promoting those values except as a smokescreen for the exercise of American power.’
      • ‘Not playing bilateral cricket is a smokescreen used to evade the real issues.’
      • ‘Many people in York suspect the vagueness the company expresses about its intentions could be a smokescreen.’
      • ‘These are used as a smokescreen to distract us from the real issues.’
      trick, hoax, ruse, wile, ploy, stratagem, artifice, dodge, bluff, manoeuvre, machination, pretext, pretence, expedient, tactic, intrigue, scheme, deception, fraud, masquerade, blind, sleight, stunt, game
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