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[smuhg-uh l] /ˈsmʌg əl/
verb (used with object), smuggled, smuggling.
to import or export (goods) secretly, in violation of the law, especially without payment of legal duty.
to bring, take, put, etc., surreptitiously:
She smuggled the gun into the jail inside a cake.
verb (used without object), smuggled, smuggling.
to import, export, or convey goods surreptitiously or in violation of the law.
Origin of smuggle
1680-90; < Low German smuggeln; cognate with German schmuggeln
Related forms
smuggler, noun
antismuggling, adjective
unsmuggled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for smuggle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Could she not smuggle him up-stairs after her father had had his supper and retired to his bedroom?

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • "Yes, but I managed to smuggle my pocket contents into these clothes," said Ned.

    Boy Scouts Mysterious Signal

    G. Harvey Ralphson
  • He'll stay behind and carry out your vacation while we smuggle you away.

    Security Poul William Anderson
  • Hillard contrived to smuggle him on the private yacht of a friend.

    The Lure of the Mask Harold MacGrath
  • He smuggles the guns in in the Cigale, I smuggle them out in the Arrow.

    Kilgorman Talbot Baines Reed
British Dictionary definitions for smuggle


to import or export (prohibited or dutiable goods) secretly
(transitive; often foll by into or out of) to bring or take secretly, as against the law or rules
(transitive) foll by away. to conceal; hide
Derived Forms
smuggler, noun
smuggling, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Low German smukkelen and Dutch smokkelen, perhaps from Old English smūgen to creep; related to Old Norse smjūga
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for smuggle

"import or export secretly and contrary to law," 1680s, of Low German or Dutch origin (see smuggler). Related: Smuggled; smuggling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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