Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To bring into a country (a prohibited item) secretively and intentionally, in violation of the law.
  • intransitive verb To bring into a country (an item) secretively and intentionally without declaring the item to customs officials and paying the associated duties or taxes on it, in violation of the law.
  • intransitive verb To bring in or take out illicitly or by stealth.
  • intransitive verb To engage in smuggling.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To import or export secretly, and contrary to law; import or export secretly without paying the duties imposed by law; also, to introduce into trade or consumption in violation of excise laws; in Scotland, to manufacture (spirits, malt, etc.) illicitly.
  • To convey, introduce, or handle clandestinely: as, to smuggle something out of the way.
  • To practise secret illegal exportation or importation of goods; export or import goods without payment of duties; also, to violate excise laws. See I., 1, and smuggling.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To import or export in violation of the customs laws.
  • transitive verb To import or export secretly, contrary to the law; to import or export without paying the duties imposed by law.
  • transitive verb Fig.: To convey or introduce clandestinely.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive, intransitive To import or export, illicitly or by stealth, without paying lawful customs charges or duties
  • verb transitive To bring in surreptitiously
  • verb slang To thrash or be thrashed by a bear's claws, or to swipe at or be swiped at by a person's arms in a bearlike manner.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb import or export without paying customs duties

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Probably Low German smukkeln, smuggeln or Middle Dutch smokkelen.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From earlier smuckle, either from Dutch smokkelen ("to smuggle"), a frequentative form of Middle Dutch smūken ("to act secretly, be sneaky"), or from Dutch Low Saxon or German Low German smuggeln. The Dutch and Low German words are both ultimately from Proto-Germanic *smeuganan (“to snuggle, cling to”), from Proto-Indo-European *smewk-, *smewg- (“to slip, glide; be slimy”). Cognate with Saterland Frisian smukkeln ("to move insidiously, smuggle"), West Frisian smokkelje ("to smuggle"), German schmuggeln ("to smuggle"), Danish smugle ("to smuggle"), Swedish smuggla ("to smuggle"). Related also to Icelandic smjúga ("to creep, penetrate"), Swedish smyga ("to sneak, slip, crawl, lurk, steal"), German schmiegen ("to nestle, wrap, snuggle"), Old English smēogan, smūgan ("to creep, crawl, move gradually, penetrate").

Examples

  • Schumann, in his playful manner, speaks of caprice and wantonness, and insinuates that Chopin bound together four of his maddest children, and entitled them sonata, in order that he might perhaps under this name smuggle them in where otherwise they would not penetrate.

    Frederic Chopin as a Man and Musician

  • If this person was known since August, 2009, do you really believe someone else – who is not being watched – would have been unable to "smuggle" a bomb onto the airline?

    The return of terror politics

  • It is wrapped like that because someone (on their request) was supposed to "smuggle" it to the US where no such sheep tail fat can be found.

    Karin Kloosterman: Fridge Voyeurism: a Sneaky Pleasure, and a Way to Green Your Fridge

  • No, I was not trying to "smuggle" anything or anyone into the country, I occasionally go into Tijuana to buy gallons of imitation vanilla for recipes that we use in our Taco Shops.

    A person traveling with a British passport's almost visit to USA?

  • Reminds me of the time I tried to 'smuggle' Marks & Spencers chocolate biscuits into Australia.

    What I cooked last night.

  • And people used to kind of smuggle their records in and you know, so we had an inkling that that was going on.

    CNN Transcript Sep 13, 2003

  • The simmering controversy between Egypt and Germany boiled over anew earlier this year when a German news magazine printed excerpts from documents which allegedly indicated Borchardt deliberately used subterfuge to "smuggle" the bust out of Egypt.

    The Earth Times Online Newspaper

  • A pro-life group warns that Senate Democrats are attempting to use the end of the year omnibus funding bill to "smuggle" in the removal of three longstanding bans on government-funded

    The Voice

  • A pro-life group warns that Senate Democrats are attempting to use the end of the year omnibus funding bill to "smuggle" in the removal of three longstanding bans on government-funded

    The Voice

  • Theft of trade secrets and valuable intellectual property - including business critical documents stolen by employees who use web-based email to "smuggle" such information out of the company - may be costing British businesses millions a year, according to a recently published report.

    IT & Security Portal» IT-Observer

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