smokescreen

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smokescreen

1. Literally, a dense cloud of smoke, especially created by artificial means, used by the military to conceal positions, movements, or operations from the enemy. We've asked for air support to create a smokescreen so we can evacuate our troops in safety.
2. Any action or statement that functions to conceal or divert attention away from one's true plans, intentions, activities, motivations, etc. The news that the retailer is increasing their minimum wage across the country is really a smokescreen to cover the fact that they are making huge cuts to the benefits they offer. As soon as my mother starts prying into my dating life, I put up a smokescreen by asking my grandfather about his favorite fishing spots—a topic he could talk about for hours. Works every time!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a ˈsmokescreen

something that hides your real intentions, feelings, or activities: She couldn’t answer the question, so she tried to put up a smokescreen by talking angrily about the interviewer’s rudeness.
A smokescreen is a cloud of smoke used to hide soldiers, ships, etc. during a battle.
See also: smokescreen
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Read more about the Army's development of smoke screens at www.
The Illusion of Being Black: Behind the Smoke Screen is worthy of reading, re-reading and passing along to others to read.
Additionally, it has proved itself very effective at protecting people too, Smoke Screens have met with great success when deployed in violent armed raid scenarios.
White phosphorus, even when not used as a smoke screen or as an illuminant, is used for its thermal effects (i.e., to burn or deprive the enemy of oxygen).
In true James Bond tradition, a high-intensity strobe light on the rear window can blind pursuers, while oil slick and smoke screen dispensers underneath the rear bumper will nobble their progress.
Labour's Geoff Hoon thinks compulsory voting is the answer but that is nothing more than a smoke screen to hide a deeper problem facing MPs and MSPs.
Proponents claim the measure would level the playing field, while opponents, led by the HBA, say public financing is a smoke screen to elect antigrowth candidates.
The article "The Great Camouflage," which Sharpley-Whiting translates as "The Great Smoke Screen," delineates the originality, diversity, and plurality of Martinican culture as well as the race and class problems of the former colony, which might have been masked by the great smoke screen.
Former NEA leader David Kirkpatrick says the call for research is a smoke screen. If they really meant it, Kirkpatrick says, "the NEA would have to oppose virtually everything schooling presently does.
When the suit was filed, LRP publisher Ken Kahn told NL/NL that Law Bulletin was "putting up a smoke screen of 'deceptive practices' and so on, but the judge would bring it back to copyright.
The suggested threat that abolishing CON will bankrupt state and federal budgets is a smoke screen. Existing providers, not new beds, will continue to absorb the lion's share of increased Medicaid and Medicare nursing facility expenditures.
Meanwhile, the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils is expected to step up its campaign for the second airport to be located at Badgerys Creek, and has stated that the proposal for an airport at Kurnell is a smoke screen.
This argument is a smoke screen. For years, lawyers have worked in settings where they do not own or control the company, such as government law practices, legal aid organizations and in-house legal departments with the profession's core values fully preserved.
And once inside, he set off a cannister bomb to provide a real-life smoke screen.
The biblical Babel was a metaphor for the loss of human ability to communicate as a consequence of the rise of different languages; but the foreignness of other tongues is a smoke screen. To express what one means, and to hear what another means: This is a rare thing.