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

Lee’s father and grandfather each faced criminal investigations — his father for tax evasion and corruption, his grandfather for smuggling saccharine — but never spent a day in lockup. Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times, "Why three thoroughbreds worth millions could land Samsung heir in prison," 29 Aug. 2019 Legend has it that Ming revolutionaries used them to smuggle secret messages tucked inside while fighting Mongol rulers during the Yuan dynasty. Washington Post, "Hong Kong bakery’s mooncakes carry protest movement slogans," 21 Aug. 2019 In July 2018, in the federal court in South Florida, Martinez was sentenced to three months in prison and a year of supervised release for smuggling goods into the U.S. Karine Aigner, National Geographic, "Songbirds are being snatched from Miami’s forests," 25 July 2019 The evidence showed that under Guzman’s orders, the Sinaloa cartel was responsible for smuggling mountains of cocaine and other drugs into the United States during his 25-year reign, prosecutors said in court papers re-capping the trial. Tom Hays, The Denver Post, "El Chapo sentenced to life in prison, may end up in Colorado’s Supermax prison," 17 July 2019 The evidence at an 11-week trial showed that Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel was responsible for smuggling mountains of cocaine and other drugs into the United States during his 25-year reign, prosecutors said in recent court papers. Claudia Torrens, Twin Cities, "Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in prison," 17 July 2019 The Coast Guard released dramatic video Thursday of two unidentified Coast Guardsmen leaping onto a moving submarine allegedly used to smuggle drugs. Andrew Dyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Video: Coast Guardsmen leap aboard drug-smuggling submarine," 11 July 2019 Since the migrant crisis began around 2015, driven by war, extreme poverty, and the opening of new routes for smuggling people across Africa and the Middle East, deaths among those trying to reach Europe by sea have grown appallingly frequent. Abigail Haworth, Marie Claire, "The Lost Daughters of Salerno," 1 July 2019 The practice of smuggling finches — via hair rollers, toilet paper rolls, pantyhose or socks, as others have tried, according to the New York Times — is hardly a novel concept. Michael Brice-saddler, courant.com, "Prosecutors: East Hartford man tried to smuggle 34 finches through JFK Airport," 18 June 2019

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

11 Sep 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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