• synonyms


[smuhg-uh l]
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verb (used with object), smug·gled, smug·gling.
  1. to import or export (goods) secretly, in violation of the law, especially without payment of legal duty.
  2. to bring, take, put, etc., surreptitiously: She smuggled the gun into the jail inside a cake.
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verb (used without object), smug·gled, smug·gling.
  1. to import, export, or convey goods surreptitiously or in violation of the law.
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Origin of smuggle

1680–90; < Low German smuggeln; cognate with German schmuggeln
Related formssmug·gler, nounan·ti·smug·gling, adjectiveun·smug·gled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for smuggler

dealer, pirate, runner, crook

Examples from the Web for smuggler

Contemporary Examples of smuggler

Historical Examples of smuggler

British Dictionary definitions for smuggler


  1. to import or export (prohibited or dutiable goods) secretly
  2. (tr; often foll by into or out of) to bring or take secretly, as against the law or rules
  3. (tr foll by away) to conceal; hide
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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 smuggler


1660s, from Low German smuggeln or Dutch smokkelen "to transport (goods) illegally," apparently a frequentative formation of a word meaning "to sneak" (from Proto-Germanic *smuganan; cf. Dutch smuigen "to eat secretly;" Swedish smyg "a lurking-hole," Danish smughandel "contraband trade," Norwegian smjuga, Old English smeogan "to creep"), perhaps literally "to slip (contraband through)," from Proto-Germanic *(s)muk- (see smock).

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper