smuggle

verb
smug·​gle | \ ˈsmə-gəl How to pronounce smuggle (audio) \
smuggled; smuggling\ ˈsmə-​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce smuggle (audio) \

Definition of smuggle

transitive verb

1 : to import or export secretly contrary to the law and especially without paying duties imposed by law
2 : to convey or introduce surreptitiously

intransitive verb

: to import or export something in violation of the customs laws

Examples of smuggle in a Sentence

He was arrested for smuggling drugs into the country. They smuggled immigrants across the border. The paintings had been smuggled out of the country before the war. We smuggled his favorite sandwich past the nurse.
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Recent Examples on the Web Some sought guidance on how to smuggle weapons into the District of Columbia with its strict gun possession restrictions. Author: Greg Miller, Greg Jaffe, Razzan Nakhlawi, Anchorage Daily News, "A mob insurrection stoked by false claims of election fraud and promises of violent restoration," 10 Jan. 2021 Someone, somehow, has managed to smuggle a bit of wildness into a landscape that is all about the human imposition of formality and order on nature. Washington Post, "New Native American memorial offers peace in the heart of one of the city’s few wild spaces," 31 Dec. 2020 Those who agree to smuggle opium, heroin and methamphetamines into Iran can earn $300 or more per trip, a fortune for such a poor village. New York Times, "In a Village of Widows, the Opium Trade Has Taken a Deadly Toll," 27 Dec. 2020 The lipid nanoparticle, originally designed to protect the mRNA and smuggle it inside cells, just happened to act as an adjuvant as well. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, "What the Vaccine’s Side Effects Feel Like," 19 Dec. 2020 Several online posts appear to show far-right demonstrators workshopping ways to smuggle guns into the District, where carrying without a permit is prohibited and guns are banned at all protests. Washington Post, "Trump supporters plan D.C. rally on day Congress certifies election results," 22 Dec. 2020 But a gigantic spending bill has also become the opportunity to smuggle in some other line items, including those of special interest to the entertainment community. Eriq Gardner, Billboard, "The COVID-19 Stimulus Bill Would Make Illegal Streaming a Felony," 21 Dec. 2020 Four people have been arrested after authorities found a breach at the Lee County Detention Center that was apparently being used to smuggle contraband into the lockup. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "4 charged in contraband smuggling scheme at Lee County Detention Center," 13 Nov. 2020 In one recent case, attorney general investigators found that several officers worked with jailed members of the Heartless Felons street gang to smuggle drugs, cellphones and other items into the jail. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "Cuyahoga County Jail officer under investigation ‘inappropriate contact’ with inmate," 1 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'smuggle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of smuggle

1687, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for smuggle

Low German smuggeln & Dutch smokkelen

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Time Traveler for smuggle

Time Traveler

The first known use of smuggle was in 1687

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Statistics for smuggle

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Smuggle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smuggle. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for smuggle

smuggle

verb
How to pronounce smuggle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of smuggle

: to move (someone or something) from one country into another illegally and secretly
informal : to take or bring (something) secretly

smuggle

verb
smug·​gle | \ ˈsmə-gəl How to pronounce smuggle (audio) \
smuggled; smuggling

Kids Definition of smuggle

1 : to export or import secretly and unlawfully They smuggled stolen goods.
2 : to take or bring secretly It had been my intention to smuggle a couple of sandwiches …— Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee

Other Words from smuggle

smuggler \ ˈsmə-​glər \ noun

smuggle

verb
smug·​gle | \ ˈsmə-gəl How to pronounce smuggle (audio) \
smuggled; smuggling

Legal Definition of smuggle

transitive verb

: to import or export secretly and illegally especially to avoid paying duties or to evade enforcement of laws smuggle drugs convicted of smuggling weapons

intransitive verb

: to export or import something in violation of customs laws

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Comments on smuggle

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