- 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.
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- to import or export (prohibited or dutiable goods) secretly
- (tr; often foll by into or out of) to bring or take secretly, as against the law or rules
- (tr foll by away) to conceal; hide
Word Origin for smuggle
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
"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