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smoke somebody out
to force someone to stop hiding He didn't just walk into the police station and surrender, we had to smoke him out of hiding. To prevent such attacks, you have to smoke out the bad guys before they reach their targets.
smoke out something
to find something The company is trying to smoke out a buyer for its weaker divisions.
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.