Cite
 

Meaning of Mafia

Ma•fi•a

Pronunciation: (mä'fē-u, maf'ē-u), [key]
— n.
  1. a hierarchically structured secret organization allegedly engaged in smuggling, racketeering, trafficking in narcotics, and other criminal activities in the U.S., Italy, and elsewhere.
  2. (in Sicily)
    1. (l.c.) a popular spirit of hostility to legal restraint and to the law, often manifesting itself in criminal acts.
    2. a 19th-century secret society, similar to the Camorra in Naples, that acted in this spirit.
  3. (often l.c.) any small powerful or influential group in an organization or field; clique.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
See also: