smokescreen (plural smokescreens)

  1. Smoke used as a disguise, mask or cover, as of troops in battle.
    • 1951, Herman Wouk, The Caine Mutiny, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Chapter 25, Part 5, p. 284,
      Ensign Whitely began to tell of the surprise encounter of Admiral Sprague’s escort-carrier force with the main battle line of the Japanese Navy off Samar, in a chaos of rain squalls and smoke screens.
  2. (figuratively) Anything used metaphorically to conceal or distract.
    All that talk is just a smokescreen to disguise the fact that he has nothing to say.
    • 1968, Desmond Bagley, The Vivero Letter (novel), Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Chapter 8, p. 163,
      It was all very plausible and, as he poured out his smokescreen of words, I became fidgety for fear Fallon would be too direct with him.
  • French: écran de fumée, rideau de fumée
  • German: Nebelwand, Nebelvorhand, Nebelschleier, Deckmantel, Rauchvorhang
  • Portuguese: cortina de fumaça (Brasil), cortina de fumo (Portugal)
  • Russian: дымова́я заве́са
  • Spanish: cortina de humo

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