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Smuggled vs Bootleg vs Contraband

Smuggled, bootlegcontraband are comparable in meaning transported in defiance of the law but each has implications and applications not shared with the others.

Smuggled applies to what is taken out of or brought into an area (as a nation or district) clandestinely, especially to avoid payment of taxes or dues or to contravene the law. In extended use it may stress deftly evasive action or surreptitious procedure.

Bootleg denotes a material thing (as liquor) made in or imported into a country or district and offered for sale or distribution in defiance of its prohibition in that country or of legal restrictions (as by rationing or licensing) on its use. The term can imply fraud, deceit, and often secretiveness or concealment; thus, bootleg wiring is done by one who is not a legally qualified electrician and who may disregard safety requirements; bootleg prizefights are conducted without legal sanction and often with disregard of the welfare of fighters or patrons.

Contraband applies to something of which the importation or exportation is declared illegal by law, proclamation, or treaty. Often the term is perfectly interchangeable with smuggled or it may nearly replace bootleg , but it alone is specifically applied to something of which the exportation to belligerents is expressly prohibited and which, therefore, is liable to seizure.