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Expose, reveal, bring to public view, as in Reporters thrive on smoking out a scandal. This expression alludes to driving a person or animal out of a hiding place by filling it with smoke. [Late 1500s]
1. To force someone or something out of a place by or as if by the use of smoke: The groundskeeper smoked out the gopher. The police smoked the fugitives out of their hideout.
2. To detect and bring someone or something to public view; expose or reveal someone or something: The media was quick to smoke out the scandal. The ruse was successful in smoking the culprit out.