smug·​gler ˈsmə-glər How to pronounce smuggler (audio)
plural smugglers
: one who smuggles something
The traffic in drugs—especially cocaine—to Florida by sea and air from South America has been generating wealth to rival that of the tourist trade and attracting a cadre of ingenious and ruthless smugglers from around the world.Jeremiah Tax
In nearby Nogales smugglers tunnel 6 ft. under the border and funnel people through.Terry McCarthy
Officials in Paraguay raided a wildlife smuggling operation in its capital city, Asunción, on March 25, recovering two critically endangered Brazilian parrots, which Paraguayan smugglers had hoped to sell in West Germany for $40,000.Focus

Examples of smuggler in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web People smugglers have in the past advertised their services on Facebook for as little as $4,500 per person. Patrick Smith, NBC News, 22 Mar. 2024 The difference between Barreiro and most other high-level drug smugglers, of course, is that Barreiro is a woman. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Mar. 2024 Flores has seen firsthand how smugglers and migrants have trampled through his property, at times cutting through his fences and allowing cattle to escape. USA TODAY, 29 Feb. 2024 Once asylum seekers get to the U.S.-Mexico border, they are faced with a choice: wait months for an official appointment or submit themselves to human smugglers. John Washington, Harper's Magazine, 26 Feb. 2024 The boys almost immediately encounter heartless human smugglers, who don’t even hit the brakes to slow down when a migrant is accidentally thrown from the back of a speeding, overloaded pickup truck. Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post, 20 Feb. 2024 The arrests come as numerous migrants have died attempting to cross treacherous conditions, sometimes lured by smugglers. Luis Ferré-Sadurní, New York Times, 11 Feb. 2024 But by night’s end, the smugglers decided to keep the remaining migrants locked up in the container over night, or until they got paid. Charles Rabin, Miami Herald, 5 Feb. 2024 After Dutch authorities stepped up their drug enforcement, smugglers shifted more of their operations to Antwerp, said Stijn Hoorens, a drug trade and policy researcher at Rand Europe. Gerrit De Vynck, Washington Post, 20 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'smuggler.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1661, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of smuggler was in 1661

Dictionary Entries Near smuggler

Cite this Entry

“Smuggler.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

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