smuggle

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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web In one recent case, attorney general investigators found that several officers worked with jailed members of the Heartless Felons street gang to smuggle drugs, cellphones and other items into the jail. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "Cuyahoga County Jail officer under investigation ‘inappropriate contact’ with inmate," 1 Dec. 2020 Richard DeLisi has been incarcerated since 1989 when, at the age of 40, he was convicted on charges of racketeering, trafficking in cannabis and conspiracy after agreeing to help smuggle more than 100 pounds of marijuana from Colombia into Florida. Eric Levenson, CNN, "Florida man to be released early after serving 31 years for nonviolent marijuana crime," 28 Nov. 2020 On at least one occasion, Herrera allowed Hunt to make a phone call from the prison to arrange for the delivery of Suboxone for Herrera to smuggle into prison, the indictment says. oregonlive, "Federal prison guard accused of accepting bribes to smuggle in marijuana, phones, cigarettes to inmates in Sheridan," 3 Nov. 2020 For decades, the United States patrolled the border alone, trying to block traffickers' increasingly creative attempts to smuggle drugs. Kevin Sieff, Anchorage Daily News, "Under the U.S.-Mexico border, miles of tunnels worth millions of dollars to traffickers," 13 Oct. 2020 For decades, the United States patrolled the border alone, attempting to block traffickers’ increasingly creative attempts to smuggle drugs. Kevin Sieff, Washington Post, "Under the U.S.-Mexico border, miles of tunnels worth millions of dollars — to traffickers," 13 Oct. 2020 Palestinians have used underground tunnels to smuggle all manner of goods into Gaza. Washington Post, "World Digest: Oct. 20, 2020," 20 Oct. 2020 Tractor-trailers are used to smuggle people from Mexico and through the ports of entry at border crossings, where all vehicles must pass in order to enter the county. Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, "Highway checkpoint busts reveal trucks smuggling thousands of illegal immigrants," 22 Sep. 2020 Nansen managed to smuggle out of the camp page by page. courant.com, "Community News For The Manchester Edition," 6 Nov. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of smuggle

1687, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for smuggle

Low German smuggeln & Dutch smokkelen

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about smuggle

Time Traveler for smuggle

Time Traveler

The first known use of smuggle was in 1687

See more words from the same year

Statistics for smuggle

Last Updated

3 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Smuggle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smuggle. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for smuggle

smuggle

verb
How to pronounce smuggle (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on smuggle

What made you want to look up smuggle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!