American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth 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.
- 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.
GNU Webster's 1913
- 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
mafiaor the syndicate.
- n. underworld organizations
“I’m a special agent with the DIA’s organized crime squad.”
“According to the reporter, the two dead men in the Johnson County Grocery Store shootings had been identified as Carmody Grumley and B.J. Grumley, both of no fixed address, both known to have organized crime connections and thought to be part of a mobile, shifting culture of strong-armed men used in various mob enterprises over the years.”
“Most wore bulletproof vests, and the guns were a motley of junky but effective Third and Fourth World subguns from various organized crime arsenals around the South, plus some functional American junkers.”
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