- anything prohibited by law from being imported or exported.
- goods imported or exported illegally.
- illegal or prohibited trade; smuggling.
- International Law. contraband of war.
- (during the American Civil War) a black slave who escaped to or was brought within the Union lines.
- prohibited from export or import.
Origin of contraband
Related Wordsillicit, bootleg, prohibited, unauthorized, piracy, smuggling, trafficking, taboo, swag, goods, violation, crime, plunder, stuff, theft, moonshine, bootlegging, dealing, poaching, banned
Examples from the Web for contraband
Yazbek says no one takes names, and no one checks for weapons or other contraband.Ghost Ships of the Mediterranean
Barbie Latza Nadeau
January 6, 2015
Prison guards in Lima found a contraband mobile phone in his prison cell that he claimed was given to him by the warden.Did Joran Van Der Sloot Fake His Prison Shanking?
Andrea Zarate, Barbie Latza Nadeau
November 5, 2014
He was convicted of perjury, served 30 days, and went back to a swashbuckling career in contraband.The Weirdest Story About a Conservative Obsession, a Convicted Bomber, and Taylor Swift You Have Ever Read
August 30, 2014
A CBP dog sniffs around for contraband like drugs, food, weapons, people.A Shooting on a Tribal Land Uncovers Feds Running Wild
August 26, 2014
Of course, as Singer notes, “Smuggling things that are contraband at a prison is not a national security emergency.”What Was This Drone Doing Over a South Carolina Prison?
August 1, 2014
Suppose she has to pay excess on her luggage, or to wrangle about contraband?The Incomplete Amorist
The cargo had been well shipped by men skilled in the subtle art of contraband.The Law-Breakers
Of this state of things we were informed by a contraband we chanced to meet.Three Years in the Federal Cavalry
He wanted its earrings—they were contraband of war, I suppose.Romance
Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
But something new in this veracious narration—the contraband.Shoulder-Straps
- goods that are prohibited by law from being exported or imported
- illegally imported or exported goods
- illegal traffic in such goods; smuggling
- Also called: contraband of war international law goods that a neutral country may not supply to a belligerent
- (during the American Civil War) a Black slave captured by the Union forces or one who escaped to the Union lines
- (of goods)
- forbidden by law from being imported or exported
- illegally imported or exported
Word Origin and History for contraband
1520s, "smuggling;" 1590s, "smuggled goods;" from Middle French contrebande "a smuggling," from older Italian contrabando (modern contrabbando) "unlawful dealing," from Latin contra "against" (see contra) + Medieval Latin bannum, from Frankish *ban "a command" or some other Germanic source (see ban (v.)).
Goods illegally transported across borders to avoid the payment of taxes.