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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The mortars are believed to have been smuggled from Libya through Egypt. Fares Akram, The Seattle Times, "Hamas has developed a vast arsenal in blockaded Gaza," 25 Mar. 2019 The Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves went into effect on Jan. 1, 1808, the earliest date permitted by the Constitution—although some slaves continued to be smuggled in. Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "A Look at African-American History, Through the Numbers," 15 Feb. 2019 Jurors heard about the myriad ways Mr. Guzmán smuggled drugs through Mexico and into the U. S.—by underground tunnel, car, truck, plane, ship and train. Katie Honan, WSJ, "U.S. Jury Convicts Mexican Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’ After Three-Month Trial," 12 Feb. 2019 Jameela was smuggling letters for PLO members when she was captured at the age of 18. Marie Claire, "Charities & Volunteering," 17 Feb. 2010 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

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

Dictionary Entries near smuggle

smudge pot

smudger

smug

smuggle

smuggleable

smur

smurry

Statistics for smuggle

Last Updated

10 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for smuggle

The first known use of smuggle was in 1687

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!