A smuggler is someone who transports goods illegally, like an exotic animal smuggler who sneaks wild birds into the U.S. from South America.

During Prohibition in the 1920s, “rum-runners” were smugglers who illegally brought alcohol to the U.S. on boats from places including the Bahamas. Today smugglers continue to import goods that are either illegal or highly taxed (like cigarettes). Smuggler comes from the Low German smuggeln, “to transport illegally,” and shares a root with the Old English smeogan, “to creep.”

Definitions of smuggler
  1. noun

    someone who imports or exports without paying duties

    contrabandist, moon curser, moon-curser, runner
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    someone who smuggles illegal immigrants into the United States (usually across the Mexican border)
    arms-runner, gunrunner

    a smuggler of guns

    someone who illegally smuggles liquor across a border
    type of:

    criminal, crook, felon, malefactor, outlaw

    someone who has committed a crime or has been legally convicted of a crime

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