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 the 1980s, cocaine from Colombia was smuggled via speedboats, and bales of marijuana were flown in on small planes, but now fentanyl from China can be marketed online and shipped by mail. Carla K. Johnson, The Seattle Times, "Q&A: Feds tackle opioid epidemic, but is it helping?," 28 Jan. 2019 But many smuggled migrants are caught at highway checkpoints like the one in Falfurrias, nearly 70 miles north of the border and one of the Border Patrol’s last lines of defense. Nicholas Kulish, New York Times, "Border Patrol’s Last Line of Defense? It Isn’t at the Border," 9 July 2018 So if a smuggled nuclear bomb detonates inside the U.S., even if the design belongs to Russia, the doubt over who set it off would remain. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Hollywood Has No Idea How Nukes Work," 2 Apr. 2018 Forrest uniquely engaged in the buying and selling of Africans illegally smuggled into the United States, in violation of an 1808 congressional ban. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "New Historic Marker Highlights Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Ties to the Slave Trade," 8 Mar. 2018 Stash houses in residential neighborhoods hide smuggled people and drugs. Author: Manny Fernandez, Linda Qiu, Anchorage Daily News, "Backed up by data, a border city asks Trump: What border crisis?," 24 June 2018 Clashes are deadlier, too, thanks to guns looted from the arsenals of Libya’s former dictator, Muammar Qaddafi, and smuggled around the region. The Economist, "Fighting between Nigerian farmers and herders is getting worse," 7 June 2018 The nerve agent used to poison the Skripals was smuggled to Britain in a counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle and applied to the front door of their house, according to Metropolitan Police. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Two Russians deny involvement in UK Novichok poisoning: 'We went there to see Stonehenge'," 13 Sep. 2018 Many times, a person being smuggled into the United States comes here to live with family. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, "Man accused of driving truck containing 54 undocumented immigrants heads back to court Monday," 15 June 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

13 Feb 2019

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
informal : 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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More from Merriam-Webster on smuggle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with smuggle

Spanish Central: Translation of smuggle

Nglish: Translation of smuggle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of smuggle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on smuggle

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