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A person who smokes cigarettes continuously, such that they begin a new cigarette as (or almost as) soon as the last one is extinguished. My grandmother died of emphysema after being a chain smoker for most of her adult life.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
One who smokes continually by lighting a new cigarette from the one being finished, as in Before they forbade smoking, bridge tournaments often attracted players who are chain smokers . [c. 1930]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n. someone who smokes cigarette after cigarette. She was a chain-smoker for thirty years, and then suddenly, boom. She’s gone.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.