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6 definitions found
 for mafia
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  organized crime \organized crime\ 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 mafia or the syndicate.
     [PJC]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Mafia \Maf"i*a\, Mafioso \Ma`fi*o"so\, n.
     see maffia, maffioso.
     [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Syndicate \Syn"di*cate\, n. [Cf. F. syndicat, LL. syndicatus.]
     1. The office or jurisdiction of a syndic; a council, or body
        of syndics. --Bp. Burnet.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. An association of persons officially authorized to
        undertake some duty or to negotiate some business; also,
        an association of persons who combine to carry out, on
        their own account, a financial or industrial project; as,
        a syndicate of bankers formed to take up and dispose of an
        entire issue of government bonds.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. A more or less organized association of criminals
        controlling some aspects of criminal activity, in a
        specific area or country-wide; -- used loosely as a
        synonym for organized crime or the mafia.
        [PJC]
  
     4. (Journalism) a commercial organization that purchases
        various journalistic items, such as articles, columns, or
        comic strips, from their individual creators, and resells
        them to newspapers or other periodicals for simultaneous
        publication over a wide area.
        [PJC]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  Mafia
      n 1: a crime syndicate in the United States; organized in
           families; believed to have important relations to the
           Sicilian Mafia [syn: Mafia, Maffia, Cosa Nostra]
      2: a secret terrorist group in Sicily; originally opposed
         tyranny but evolved into a criminal organization in the
         middle of the 19th century [syn: Mafia, Maffia, Sicilian
         Mafia]
      3: any tightly knit group of trusted associates [syn: mafia,
         maffia]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  28 Moby Thesaurus words for "Mafia":
     Black Hand, Cosa Nostra, black market, bootlegging, gambling,
     gangdom, gangland, gray market, illegal commerce,
     illegal operations, illegitimate business, illicit business,
     loan-sharking, moonshining, narcotics traffic, organized crime,
     prostitution, protection racket, racket, shady dealings, the Mafia,
     the mob, the rackets, the syndicate, the underworld,
     traffic in women, usury, white slavery
  
  

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