Definition of smoke signal in English:

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smoke signal

Pronunciation: /smōk ˈsiɡnəl/


1A column of smoke used as a way of conveying a message to a distant person.
Example sentences
  • Many of their traditions and their original methods of communication - their language, smoke signals, and messages carried by people on foot - have survived.
  • Tribes in Kurdistan set up a primitive warning system with observers and smoke signals to warn the most likely targets of the approach of British aircraft.
  • The smoke signals from the Vatican were certainly this week's most newsworthy communicative acts.
1.1An indication of someone’s intentions or views: the Iowa caucuses might have given a small smoke signal of the Democrats' likely choice
More example sentences
  • Various smoke signals have been sent up, but in truth, nobody knows. This is the type of thing that Bertie always, always keeps in pectore until the very last moment.
  • As ever in Northern Ireland, however, the smoke signals are confused and indistinct.
  • If you read The Sunday Times last week, there were smoke signals that gave you a pretty good idea what that might be.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: smoke sig·nal

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