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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 smuggling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This signal was soon answered, and then it was look out for the smuggling boats!

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • It was said that he had made a good deal of money by smuggling goods into the States.

    The Hunted Outlaw Anonymous
  • I wish to know, Captain Ducie, if you have anything to say to this ship in the way of smuggling?

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • Or because I was dangerous, prying into their smuggling activities.

  • He was very poor—few of the Basques are rich—and he was in danger because of the smuggling.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
British Dictionary definitions for smuggling


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 smuggling



"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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