smuggle

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

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Other Words from smuggle

smuggler \ ˈsmə-​glər How to pronounce smuggler (audio) \ 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

Cartel members hatched a plan to smuggle cocaine across the Tijuana border to Los Angeles on large trucks inside jalapeño cans. Nicole Hong, WSJ, "What El Chapo’s Trial Revealed: The Inner Workings of a $14 Billion Drug Empire," 12 Feb. 2019 But a relative in the United States gave Lourdes a phone number for a coyote, a person who charges a fee to smuggle people into the United States. Daniel González, azcentral, "The U.S. deported this mother to Guatemala. It kept her 6-year-old son.," 2 July 2018 While drug-trafficking organizations for years have used teenagers to smuggle narcotics across the border, the involvement of juveniles in smuggling fentanyl is raising new alarm. Sandra Dibble, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Teen fentanyl arrests at San Diego border spur push to warn underage smugglers," 5 Apr. 2018 Vision Beyond Borders is one of a number of missionary groups that do semi-covert missionary work in countries whose governments are often hostile to Christianity, and are best known for actions like smuggling Bibles into places such as China. Grant Peck, The Seattle Times, "Evangelical group says 3 US volunteers detained in Laos," 13 Apr. 2019 He and four other inmates were using phones smuggled into prison to move large quantities of methamphetamine from California to South Carolina. Sherri A. Lydon, WSJ, "Let States Jam Prison Cellphones," 3 Apr. 2019 Several others were also arrested for using a similar method to smuggle K2 and synthetic amphetamines into a Polk County Jail, according to FOX 35 Orlando. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Dangerous 'drug' trend infiltrating Florida prisons, sheriff says," 12 Sep. 2018 Virginia Cagley previously said her husband fled because he was threatened by other inmates who wanted him to smuggle marijuana into the prison and because somebody tried to break into her trailer. Paul Davenport, chicagotribune.com, "Iowa mulls case of Arizona man who fled prison decades ago," 10 June 2018 However, authorities have noticed an uptick in attempts to smuggle heroin into the jails, a trend officials attribute only partly to the reduction in prescription opioids. Kristina Davis, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Weaning the county jail population off opioids," 23 Apr. 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

22 May 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 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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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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