from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Widespread criminal activities, such as prostitution, interstate theft, or illegal gambling, that occur within a centrally controlled formal structure.
- n. The people and the groups involved in such criminal activities.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A set of large criminal organizations (often competing for markets and territories) that deal in illegal goods and services.
- n. The crimes perpetrated by those organizations.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Groups of persons organized for illegal purposes, such as bootlegging, conducting illegal gambling, loansharking, extortion, etc.; -- a general term encompassing most forms of criminal groups, but especially those that are consolidated into “families” more or less recognizing each other's different regions of operation; sometimes considered synonymous with the mafia or the syndicate.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. underworld organizations
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