What does contraband mean?

Definitions for contraband
ˈkɒn trəˌbændcon·tra·band

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word contraband.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. contrabandadjective

    goods whose importation or exportation or possession is prohibited by law

  2. bootleg, black, black-market, contraband, smuggledadjective

    distributed or sold illicitly

    "the black economy pays no taxes"


  1. contrabandnoun

    any goods which are illicit or illegal to possess

  2. contrabandnoun

    goods which are prohibited from being traded, smuggled goods

  3. contrabandnoun

    A black slave during the American Civil War who had escaped to, or been captured by, Union forces.

  4. contrabandadjective

    prohibited from being traded

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. CONTRABANDadjective

    Prohibited; illegal; unlawful.

    Etymology: contrabando, Ital. contrary to proclamation.

    If there happen to be found an irreverent expression, or a thought too wanton, in the cargo, let them be staved or forfeited, like contraband goods. John Dryden, Fables, Preface.

  2. To Contrabandverb

    To import goods prohibited.

    Etymology: from the adjective.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Contrabandnoun

    illegal or prohibited traffic

  2. Contrabandnoun

    goods or merchandise the importation or exportation of which is forbidden

  3. Contrabandnoun

    a negro slave, during the Civil War, escaped to, or was brought within, the Union lines. Such slave was considered contraband of war

  4. Contrabandadjective

    prohibited or excluded by law or treaty; forbidden; as, contraband goods, or trade

  5. Contrabandverb

    to import illegally, as prohibited goods; to smuggle

  6. Contrabandverb

    to declare prohibited; to forbid

  7. Etymology: [It. contrabando; contra + bando ban, proclamation: cf. F. contrebande. See Ban an edict.]


  1. Contraband

    The word contraband, reported in English since 1529, from Medieval French contrebande "a smuggling," denotes any item which, relating to its nature, is illegal to be possessed or sold. Used for goods that by their nature, e.g. too dangerous or offensive in the eyes of the legislator are forbidden, and for so-called derivative contraband, i.e. goods that may normally be owned but are liable to be seized because they were used in committing an unlawful act and hence begot illegally, such as: ⁕Smuggling goods ⁕stolen goods – knowingly participating in their trade is an offense in itself, called fencing ⁕the fruits of fraud, forgery etc.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Contraband

    kon′tra-band, adj. contrary to law: prohibited.—n. illegal traffic: prohibition: prohibited goods.—ns. Con′trabandism, trafficking in contraband goods; Con′trabandist, a smuggler.—Contraband of war, a name applied to certain commodities, as military stores, and even coal in an age of war steamers, not to be supplied by neutral to belligerent powers. [Sp. contrabanda—It. contrabbando—L. contra, against, L. L. bandum, ban.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. contraband

    The ship is involved in the legal fate of the cargo; the master should therefore be careful not to take any goods on board without all custom-house duties being paid up, and see that they be not prohibited by parliament or public proclamation. Contraband is simply defined, "merchandise forbidden by the law of nations to be supplied to an enemy;" but it affords fat dodges to the admiralty court sharks.

Rap Dictionary

  1. contrabandnoun

    Contraband is an Edmonton, Alberta, Canada duo made up of Yak Ballz and Double Dick. They are from the city's south side.

Suggested Resources

  1. contraband

    Song lyrics by contraband -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by contraband on the Lyrics.com website.

How to pronounce contraband?

How to say contraband in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of contraband in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of contraband in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of contraband in a Sentence

  1. Pennsylvania Zane David Memeger:

    Prison guards who violate security procedures by smuggling drugs and other contraband to inmates undermine that safety and make an inherently dangerous environment more dangerous.

  2. Stephen Miller:

    The problem with the statement that youre apprehending 80 or 90 percent of drugs at ports of entry -- thats like saying you apprehend most contraband at TSA checkpoints at airports, you apprehend the contraband there because thats where you have the people, the screeners. I assure you if we had screeners of that same density across every single inch and mile of the southern border, youd have more drugs interdicted in those areas.

  3. Nancy Pelosi:

    We talk about technology. Several hundred million dollars for the technology to scan the cars coming through the ports of entry and that is to detect guns, its like an electronic dog almost to detect drugs, guns and contraband.

  4. South Carolina:

    We have been attacked by drones, they have been delivering contraband into our institutions for the past few years.

  5. Pope Francis:

    The last forests are menaced by forest fires, poaching, the unrestricted cutting down of valuable woodlands. Plant and animal biodiversity is endangered by contraband and illegal exportation.

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Translations for contraband

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"contraband." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 22 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/contraband>.

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    incapable of being atoned for
    • A. inexpiable
    • B. currish
    • C. sesquipedalian
    • D. usurious

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