Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Spanish contrabanda (modern spelling contrabando), from Italian contrabando (modern spelling contrabbando), from contra (against) + bando (ban), and reinforced by French contrebande.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈkɒn.tɹəˌbænd/
    • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈkɑn.tɹəˌbænd/


English Wikipedia has an article on:

contraband (usually uncountable, plural contrabands)

  1. (uncountable) Any goods which are illicit or illegal to possess.
  2. (uncountable) Goods which are prohibited from being traded, smuggled goods.
  3. (countable, US, historical) A black slave during the American Civil War who had escaped to, or been captured by, Union forces.
    • 1988, James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, Oxford 2003, p. 497:
      While some Yanks treated contrabands with a degree of equity or benevolence, the more typical response was indifference, contempt, or cruelty.



contraband (comparative more contraband, superlative most contraband)

  1. Prohibited from being traded.
    • 1940, The Code of Federal Regulations of the United States of America: Having ... – Division of the Federal Register, the National Archives – Page 2191
      "[...] when the seizure is made in connection with a violation involving a contraband article covered by section 1 (b) (1) of the said Act; [...]"
    • 1953, United States, United States. President, United States. Congress – United States Code Congressional and Administrative News – Page 2039
      "The exclusion of mandatory payment of moieties for seizures of contraband controlled substances is accomplished through Section 17 of the bill, [...]"
    • 1899, Albert William Chaster, The Powers, Duties and Liabilities of Executive Officers as Between These ... – Stevens and Haynes – Page 55
      "4. Contraband goods may be seized if found in a river before they are landed or offered for sale."


contraband (third-person singular simple present contrabands, present participle contrabanding, simple past and past participle contrabanded)

  1. (obsolete) To import illegally; to smuggle.
    • 1615, George Sandys, “The Second Booke”, in The Relation of a Journey Begun An. Dom. 1610. [], London: [] [Richard Field] for W. Barrett, OCLC 25923553, page 87:
      there are also searched for concealed Slaves, and goods contrabanded
  2. (obsolete) To declare prohibited; to forbid.