smuggle

verb
smug·​gle | \ˈsmə-gəl \
smuggled; smuggling\ -​g(ə-​)liŋ \

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

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Other Words from smuggle

smuggler \ ˈsmə-​glər \ noun

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

In recent months, however, she has been questioned by authorities for allegedly smuggling luxury goods from overseas without paying taxes. Eun-young Jeong, WSJ, "South Korean Airlines Face Operational and Familial Headwinds," 6 July 2018 Like Abu-Qarin and Ghermay, the Eritrean is said to be responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of migrants from the Horn of Africa to the coast of Libya, and onward to Europe and the United States. Nima Elbagir And Lauren Said-moorhouse, CNN, "Unprecedented UN sanctions slapped on 'millionaire migrant traffickers'," 7 June 2018 That’s when about a dozen North Korean diplomats were expelled from Scandinavian countries for smuggling alcohol, cigarettes, and hashish, using their diplomatic pouches as a distribution network. Bloomberg.com, "Why Doesn’t North Korea Want to Be More Like Its Neighbors?," 23 May 2018 In February, an 18-year-old was sentenced to six months behind bars for smuggling a Bengal tiger cub across the Mexican border into California, according to multiple reports at the time. Mariah Haas, PEOPLE.com, "Federal Agents Find Baby Tiger Stuffed Inside a Duffle Bag Left on the Mexican Border," 1 May 2018 Its decrepit aircraft have crashed, been blacklisted by the U.S. military for smuggling opium and refused entry to Europe for safety deficiencies. Fahim Abed, The Seattle Times, "Bloody Taliban attack grounds much of Afghan airline," 26 Jan. 2018 The tale ends with the arrival back in Alabama waters, the tricks used to smuggle the prisoners past port officials in Mobile, and finally the burning of the ship after the captives were hidden in a swamp. Ben Raines, AL.com, "Wreck found by reporter may be last American slave ship, archaeologists say," 23 Jan. 2018 Archaeologists have found a hidden network of tombs in Minya and a rare Greco-Roman temple in the western desert, while the authorities have stepped up efforts to recover ancient treasures smuggled abroad. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Sarcophagus Found. Contents Unknown. (‘No Guessing, Please.’)," 13 July 2018 Someone really did try to get a snake smuggled onto a plane. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Python found inside checked bag, hard drive at Miami airport," 10 July 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near smuggle

smudge pot

smudger

smug

smuggle

smuggleable

smur

smurry

Statistics for smuggle

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for smuggle

The first known use of smuggle was in 1687

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More Definitions for smuggle

smuggle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of smuggle

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

: to take or bring (something) secretly

smuggle

verb
smug·​gle | \ˈsmə-gəl \
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 \
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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