• WordNet 3.6
    • adj contraband distributed or sold illicitly "the black economy pays no taxes"
    • n contraband goods whose importation or exportation or possession is prohibited by law
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Contraband A negro slave, during the Civil War, escaped to, or was brought within, the Union lines. Such slave was considered contraband of war.
    • Contraband Goods or merchandise the importation or exportation of which is forbidden.
    • Contraband Illegal or prohibited traffic. "Persons the most bound in duty to prevent contraband , and the most interested in the seizures."
    • a Contraband Prohibited or excluded by law or treaty; forbidden; as, contraband goods, or trade. "The contraband will always keep pace, in some measure, with the fair trade."
    • Contraband To declare prohibited; to forbid. "The law severly contrabands Our taking business of men's hands."
    • Contraband To import illegally, as prohibited goods; to smuggle.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • contraband Prohibited or excluded by proclamation, law, or treaty.
    • n contraband Illegal or prohibited traffic.
    • n contraband Anything by law prohibited to be imported or exported.
    • n contraband In the United States, during the civil war, a negro slave, especially an escaped or a captured slave: so called from a decision of General B. F. Butler, in 1861, that slaves coming into his lines or captured were contraband of war, and so subject to confiscation.
    • contraband To declare prohibited; forbid.
    • contraband To import illegally, as prohibited goods; smuggle.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Contraband kon′tra-band contrary to law: prohibited
    • n Contraband illegal traffic: prohibition: prohibited goods
    • ***


  • Mahatma Gandhi
    “Morality is contraband in war.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
It. contrabando,; contra, + bando, ban, proclamation: cf. F. contrebande,. See Ban an edict


In literature:

They might have defeated their own purpose by making him jettison his contraband!
"Smugglers' Reef" by John Blaine
Strangers in Lost Valley were contraband.
"Tharon of Lost Valley" by Vingie E. Roe
You are not the first lady who has gone on shore with contraband articles about her person.
"The Pirate and The Three Cutters" by Frederick Marryat
The servant included in the above pass was a "contraband," picked up in Washington for the trip.
"War from the Inside" by Frederick L. (Frederick Lyman) Hitchcock
Or if they chose, they were free to leave, with their personal property, except such as was contraband.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume VI (of VIII)" by Various
The official here is seen "pointing" on the scent (as he thinks) of contraband goods in one of Robinson's portmanteaus.
"The Foreign Tour of Messrs. Brown, Jones and Robinson" by Richard Doyle
On Sunday, he fortified himself from his meagre supply of contraband, ate two large cloves, and went formally to call on her.
"Rope" by Holworthy Hall
Rum-runners, seeking out their hidden port with their cargo of contraband from Cuba.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, March 1930" by Various
Of this state of things we were informed by a contraband we chanced to meet.
"Three Years in the Federal Cavalry" by Willard Glazier
Also it was a cinch to run any desirable contraband from Granados across to La Partida and from there hellwards.
"The Treasure Trail" by Marah Ellis Ryan

In poetry:

Then came the arming of the slaves,
The noble Butler's "contrabands,"
Who proved themselves not only braves,
But ranked the soldiers of our lands.
"The Triumph Of Liberty" by James Madison Bell
Now, while our soldiers are fighting our battles,
Each at his post to do all that he can,
Down among rebels and contraband chattels,
What are you doing, my sweet little man?
"The Sweet Little Man" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
You will find the Silent Navy where the ships come in from sea
With wheat and meat and fighting men and sugar for our tea,
You'll find it seizing contraband in narrow seas and wide,
You'll find it near, you'll find it far, and in between beside.
"The Silent Navy" by Cicely Fox Smith

In news:

Contraband slaves seek freedom at Fort Monroe.
Hampton slaves asylum as " contraband of war" 150 years ago.
" Contraband " aims to be dumb fun but gets only the first half right.
Dumping Ground for Terrible Movies Like ' Contraband '.
A man was charged with possession of a controlled substance, pot possession, and possession of prison contraband Sunday.
Deputies say 43-year-old David A VanDuser, Jr, of Camillus, is accused of promoting prison contraband, a felony, and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation.
TIM ISBELL A statue on the walking trail at the Corinth Contraband Camp depicts a young girl being taught how to read.
TIM ISBELL A relief sculpture depicts life at the Corinth Contraband Camp in 1862.
Lawrence grand jury indicts four in DWI, forgery , contraband cases.
A large number of furloughs being granted to inmates at the San Juan County jail has led to worries that inmates are bringing contraband back into the jail.
Three former jailers are charged with sexual battery and bringing contraband into the Garfield County jail after an internal investigation uncovered numerous inappropriate relationships between staff and inmates.
Illinois prison guards searched for contraband.
Mackinac found that 36 percent of all cigarettes consumed in Washington are contraband.
Jailer accused of smuggling contraband into Detention Center.
Bond set for jailer accused of smuggling contraband.

In science:

K. Gnanvo, et al., “Imaging of high-Z material for nuclear contraband detection with a minimal prototype of a muon tomography station based on GEM detectors,” submitted for publication in Nucl. Instr. and Meth.
Detection and Imaging of High-Z Materials with a Muon Tomography Station Using GEM Detectors