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English definition of “vanish/go up/disappear in a puff of smoke”

vanish/go up/disappear in a puff of smoke

informal
to disappear suddenly and completely: One moment he was standing behind me, the next he had vanished in a puff of smoke. All his hard work seemed to be going up in a puff of smoke.
(Definition of vanish/go up/disappear in a puff of smoke from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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