According to dictionary.com, the definition of the word Mafia is as follows:
a hierarchically structured secret organization allegedly engaged in smuggling, racketeering, trafficking in narcotics, and other criminal activities in the U.S., Italy, and elsewhere.(in Sicily)
- (lowercase) a popular spirit of hostility to legal restraint and to the law, often manifesting itself in criminal acts.
- a 19th-century secret society, similar to the Camorra in Naples, that acted in this spirit.
(often lowercase) any small powerful or influential group in an organization or field; clique.
In general terms the ‘Mafia‘ is a criminal organization, or a collective of criminals – basically an organized crime syndicate. The organization will generate money illegally through various means, which could include general racketeering, drug trafficking and distribution, gambling, fraud, extortion, loan-sharking and protection rackets.
The origin of the word dates back to around 1870, and is of Sicilian/Italian origin. The word itself is from a Sicilian dialect of Italian which translates literally as hostility to the law.
I have to say that the best thing I’ve found to describe the word Mafia is the following definition from urbandictionary.com
“Those loud mouth Italian criminals talking with gestures like in the class A movie The Godfather.”
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