What does contraband mean?

Definitions for contrabandˈkɒn trəˌbænd

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word contraband.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. contraband(adj)

    goods whose importation or exportation or possession is prohibited by law

  2. bootleg, black, black-market, contraband, smuggled(adj)

    distributed or sold illicitly

    "the black economy pays no taxes"


  1. contraband(Noun)

    any goods which are illicit or illegal to possess

  2. contraband(Noun)

    goods which are prohibited from being traded, smuggled goods

  3. contraband(Noun)

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

  4. contraband(Adjective)

    prohibited from being traded

Webster Dictionary

  1. Contraband(noun)

    illegal or prohibited traffic

  2. Contraband(noun)

    goods or merchandise the importation or exportation of which is forbidden

  3. Contraband(noun)

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

  4. Contraband(adj)

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

  5. Contraband(verb)

    to import illegally, as prohibited goods; to smuggle

  6. Contraband(verb)

    to declare prohibited; to forbid

  7. Origin: [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.]

Suggested Resources

  1. contraband

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


  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

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  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. Southern Israel:

    They are used for terrorist attacks, but they are also used to smuggle arms and contraband, we have learned that these tunnels are being used well beyond Israel. Korea is another example -- tunnels have been found in North Korea. Here at home, more than 150 tunnels have been found since 2009.

Images & Illustrations of contraband

  1. contrabandcontrabandcontraband

Translations for contraband

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"contraband." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 18 Mar. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/contraband>.

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