Definition of Mafia in English:

Mafia

Syllabification: Ma·fi·a
Pronunciation: /ˈmäfēə
 
/

noun

(the Mafia) [treated as singular or plural]
1An organized international body of criminals, operating originally in Sicily and now especially in Italy and the US and having a complex and ruthless behavioral code.
More example sentences
  • Where Mafia and drug barons rule, investigators of any kind become targets.
  • Under Italian criminal law it is a criminal offence to be a member of the Mafia.
  • Women in the Mafia have been documented as a rising trend in Italy's criminal underworld.
1.1 (usually mafia) Any organized group using extortion and other criminal methods.
More example sentences
  • Smuggling, bribery, protection rackets and the rise of criminal mafias are some of the common symptoms of rigidly controlled economies.
  • Often sex rackets and drug mafias operate under the veil of these centres.
  • There must be a solid hierarchy and system of protection safeguarded by organized crime syndicates or mafia.
1.2 (usually mafia) A closed group of people in a particular field, having a controlling influence: the conservative top tennis mafia
More example sentences
  • Leaving the court mafia intact would make the fight against corruption useless.
  • Thieves, vandals, and con artists appeared, and online mafias emerged.
  • Sandalwood mafias thrive due to the political patronage.

Origin

Italian (Sicilian dialect), originally in the sense 'bragging'.

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Pronunciation: əˈnastrəfē
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the inversion of the usual order of words...