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Mafia   Listen
noun
Mafia, Maffia  n.  
1.
A secret society which organized in Sicily as a political organization, but is now widespread among Italians, and is used to further or protect private interests, reputedly by illegal methods; called also the Sicilian Mafia.
2.
A group of loosely associated of criminal organizations in the United States, some having ties to the Sicilian Mafia, and organized in "families"; the term is applied to the entire group of organizations, or to any one local group. Also, loosely, organized groups of criminals anywhere, as the Russian mafia.
Synonyms: syndicate, mob, Cosa Nostra, La Cosa Nostra, organized crime.
3.
Any tightly knit group of trusted associates having strong control or influence in some area; as, Kennedy and his Irish Mafia. (informal)






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Mafia" Quotes from Famous Books



... situation in dealing with Italy in 1891-1892. In October, 1890, the chief of police of New Orleans, D.C. Hennessy, had been murdered and circumstances indicated that the deed had been committed by members of an Italian secret society called the Mafia. A number of Italians were arrested, of whom three were acquitted, five were held for trial and three were to be tried a second time. One morning a mob of citizens, believing that there had been a miscarriage of justice, ...
— The United States Since The Civil War • Charles Ramsdell Lingley

... their independence some forty years ago under Seyyid Majid, whose father was Seyyid Said, the Sultan of Muscat and Zanzibar. The dominions formerly extended from Warsheik south to Tanghi Bay. In 1890 the coast line from Ruvuma to Wanga, with the island of Mafia, was ceded to Germany, by which partition the country was reduced to two islands, Zanzibar and Pemba, containing about a thousand square miles with 165,000 inhabitants, a strip of coast line ten miles long, together with three smaller islands and five seaports. Zanzibar is ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 1082, September 26, 1896 • Various

... fair exterior and apparently are the same safe and honorable institutions they were before the canker fastened on them. Only its votaries know what the "System" is, and their way is the way of silence and darkness. A tie, stronger and more effective than the oath of the Mafia, binds them to its service, and woe be to him who dares divulge its methods. He who is bold enough to enter upon a recital of these secrets must be strong indeed to withstand the bribes to silence which would be placed in his hands. The ...
— Frenzied Finance - Vol. 1: The Crime of Amalgamated • Thomas W. Lawson



Words linked to "Mafia" :   clique, camp, terrorist act, family, ingroup, inner circle, Cosa Nostra, omerta, mafioso, coterie, maffia, Sicilian Mafia, crime syndicate, gangdom, act of terrorism, syndicate, organized crime, pack, gangland, mob, terrorism, colloquialism



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