Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

  

English definition of “smoke and mirrors”

smoke and mirrors

noun [plural]   mainly US
Something that is described as smoke and mirrors is intended to take attention away from an embarrassing or unpleasant situation: Instead of cutting expenditure, the government's relying on smoke and mirrors to make it seem as though it's doing something.Creating a distraction
(Definition of smoke and mirrors noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of smoke and mirrors

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Creating a distraction, but you might be interested in these topics from the Attention and care topic area:

Definitions of “smoke and mirrors” in other dictionaries

Translations of “smoke and mirrors”

Word of the Day

work out

to exercise in order to improve the strength or appearance of your body

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More