a. Goods prohibited by law or treaty from being imported or exported.
b. Goods that are possessed contrary to law or rule, as in a prison or school.
a. Illegal traffic in contraband; smuggling.
b. Smuggled goods.
3. Goods that may be seized and confiscated by a belligerent if shipped to another belligerent by a neutral.
4. An escaped slave during the Civil War who fled to or was taken behind Union lines.
Prohibited from being imported or exported.
[Italian contrabbando : contra-, against (from Latin contrā-; see CONTRA-) + bando, legal proclamation (from Late Latin bannus, of Germanic origin; see bhā-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.