American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A secret criminal organization operating mainly in the United States and Italy and engaged in illegal activities such as gambling, drug-dealing, protection, and prostitution.
- n. Any of various similar criminal organizations, especially when dominated by members of the same nationality.
- n. A secret criminal organization operating mainly in Sicily since the early 19th century and known for its intimidation of and retribution against law enforcement officials and witnesses.
- n. Informal A tightly knit group of trusted associates, as of a political leader: "[He] is one of the personal mafia that [the chancellor] brought with him to Bonn” ( Christian Science Monitor).
- n. specifically An international criminal organization of Sicilian origin operating in Italy and the United States.
- n. by extension Any organized crime syndicate operating internationally in high-level organized crime; often with a modifying adjective, such as a nationality.
- n. Alternative capitalization of mafia (an entity which attempts to control a specified arena).
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. any tightly knit group of trusted associates
- n. a crime syndicate in the United States; organized in families; believed to have important relations to the Sicilian Mafia
- n. a secret terrorist group in Sicily; originally opposed tyranny but evolved into a criminal organization in the middle of the 19th century
- From Italian. Perhaps from Italian mafia ("spirit of hostility to the law") or from Sicilian mafia ("boldness, bravado"). See the Wikipedia article for more discussion of the origin of the word. (Wiktionary)
- Italian, perhaps from dialectal mafia, bluster, boldness. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Mafia II is currently in development by 2K Czech, the same creative team behind the award-winning, genre-defining Mafia®, which captivated millions of gamers around the world.”
“Mafia II is developed by 2K Czech, the same creative team behind the award-winning, genre-defining Mafia®, which captivated millions of gamers around the world.”
“The Iraqis are accusing your inspectors of engaging in what they call Mafia-like behavior.”
“Go3 has a portfolio of successful English games such as the hit title Mafia corruption, as well as numerous applications on the iPhone and over the Facebook network.”
“This is the most important thing that you can do in Mafia Wars.”
“In fact, it is proven that a complete step-by-step guide is the perfect way to see amazing success in Mafia Wars.”
“I'd like to tell you some of the good things the Mafia is doing," Dean Martin drawled one opening night at the Mob-run Sands, pausing to wait for the half-shocked, half-delighted laughter to build.”
“The Mafia is almost totally expunged in Sicily anyhow – at least publicly.”
“The name Pink Hill Mafia is itself a playful reflection of what its members consider their ubiquity throughout the Hill.”
“After decades of consistent effort, the Italian-American Mafia is a shadow of its former self, and the techniques used to cripple it are now being successfully employed against other organized crime syndicates.”
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