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a. A secret criminal organization operating mainly in Sicily since the early 1800s and known for its intimidation of and retribution against law enforcement officials and witnesses.
b. 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.
2. Any of various similar criminal organizations, especially when dominated by members of the same nationality.
3. often mafia 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).
[Italian, back-formation from mafiuso, mafioso, Mafioso; see Mafioso.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Sociology) the Mafia an international secret organization founded in Sicily, probably in opposition to tyranny. It developed into a criminal organization and in the late 19th century was carried to the US by Italian immigrants
[C19: from Sicilian dialect of Italian, literally hostility to the law, boldness, perhaps from Arabic mahyah bragging]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
Ma•fi•a(ˈmɑ fi ə, ˈmæf i ə)
1. a secret organization allegedly engaged in criminal activities in the U.S., Italy, and elsewhere.
2. (in Sicily)
a. (l.c.) a spirit of hostility to the law.
b. a 19th-century secret society that acted in this spirit.
3. (l.c.) any influential clique.
[1870–75; < Italian < Sicilian: orig., elegance, bravura, courage (orig. obscure)]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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|Noun||1.||Mafia - a crime syndicate in the United States; organized in families; believed to have important relations to the Sicilian Mafia|
omerta - a code of silence practiced by the Mafia; a refusal to give evidence to the police about criminal activities
crime syndicate, syndicate, mob, family - a loose affiliation of gangsters in charge of organized criminal activities
mafioso - a member of the Mafia crime syndicate in the United States
|2.||Mafia - a secret terrorist group in Sicily; originally opposed tyranny but evolved into a criminal organization in the middle of the 19th century|
act of terrorism, terrorism, terrorist act - the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear
mafioso - a member of the Sicilian Mafia
|3.||mafia - any tightly knit group of trusted associates|
colloquialism - a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
mafia[ˈmæfɪə] N → mafia f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
modif [boss, family, crime] → mafieux/euse, maffieux/euse
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
Mafia[ˈmæfɪə] n the Mafia → la mafia
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995