Sicilian Mafia
Maffia Maf"fi*a, Mafia Ma"fi*a, n. [It. maffia.] 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}. [WordNet sense 2] [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

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. [WordNet sense 1]

Syn: syndicate, mob, Cosa Nostra, La Cosa Nostra, organized crime. [WordNet 1.6 + PJC]

3. Any tightly knit group of trusted associates having strong control or influence in some area; as, Kennedy and his Irish Mafia. [informal] [WordNet sense 3] [PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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