a hierarchically structured secret organization allegedly engaged in smuggling, racketeering, trafficking in narcotics, and other criminal activities in the U.S., Italy, and elsewhere.
(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.
the Mafia, an international secret organization founded in Sicily, probably in opposition to tyranny. It developed into a criminal organization and in the late 19th century was carried to the US by Italian immigrants
any group considered to resemble the Mafia See also Black Hand, Camorra, Cosa Nostra