Definitions for mafiaˈmɑ fi ə, ˈmæf i ə

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word mafia

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

Ma•fi•aˈmɑ fi ə, ˈmæf i ə(n.)

  1. a secret organization allegedly engaged in criminal activities in the U.S., Italy, and elsewhere.

    Category: Western History

  2. (in Sicily) (l.c.) a spirit of hostility to the law. a 19th-century secret society that acted in this spirit.

    Category: Western History

  3. (l.c.) any influential clique.

    Category: Western History

Origin of Mafia:

1870–75; < It < Sicilian: orig., elegance, bravura, courage (orig. obscure)

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Mafia, Maffia, Cosa Nostra(noun)

    a crime syndicate in the United States; organized in families; believed to have important relations to the Sicilian Mafia

  2. Mafia, Maffia, Sicilian Mafia(noun)

    a secret terrorist group in Sicily; originally opposed tyranny but evolved into a criminal organization in the middle of the 19th century

  3. mafia, maffia(noun)

    any tightly knit group of trusted associates


  1. Mafia(ProperNoun)

    An international criminal organization of Sicilian origin operating in Italy and the United States.

  2. Mafia(ProperNoun)

    Any organized crime syndicate operating internationally in high-level organized crime; .

    Somehow he managed to piss off the Russian Mafia.

  3. mafia(Noun)

    A crime syndicate

  4. mafia(Noun)

    A trusted group of associates of a political leader

  5. mafia(Noun)

    An in-group

  6. Origin: From mafia, from mafia, from مهجس.


  1. Sicilian Mafia

    The Sicilian Mafia, also known as Cosa Nostra, is a criminal syndicate in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering. Each group, known as a "family", "clan", or "cosca", claims sovereignty over a territory, usually a town or village or a neighbourhood of a larger city, in which it operates its rackets. Its members call themselves "men of honour", although the public often refers to them as "mafiosi". The American Mafia arose from offshoots of the Mafia that emerged in the United States during the late nineteenth century, following waves of emigration from Italy. There were similar offshoots in Canada among Italian Canadians. The same has been claimed of organised crime among Italians in Australia.


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