[smuhg-uh l]

verb (used with object), smug·gled, smug·gling.

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), smug·gled, smug·gling.

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 formssmug·gler, nounan·ti·smug·gling, adjectiveun·smug·gled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for smuggle

hide, export, run, deal, moonshine, bootleg, push, pirate

Examples from the Web for smuggle

Contemporary Examples of smuggle

Historical Examples of smuggle

  • 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.

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


    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.


    Talbot Baines Reed

British Dictionary definitions for smuggle



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
Derived Formssmuggler, nounsmuggling, noun

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

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