ma·​fi·​o·​so ˌmä-fē-ˈō-(ˌ)sō How to pronounce mafioso (audio)
plural mafiosi ˌmä-fē-ˈō-(ˌ)sē How to pronounce mafioso (audio)
: a member of the Mafia or a mafia

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Ghostface has a knack for emotional honesty and upbeat absurdism that’s matched by Raekwon’s sterner, harsher mafioso tales. Craig Jenkins, Vulture, 3 June 2021 Some wineries will relish the opportunity to be seen as the mafioso’s beverage of choice. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 Feb. 2023 Tulsa King is from showrunner Terence Winter and stars Stallone as a mafioso who’s released from prison and exiled to Oklahoma to rebuild his crime empire. James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Nov. 2022 Sylvester Stallone, that’s who, in this new crime drama about a New York mafioso exiled to the Sooner State. Los Angeles Times, 11 Nov. 2022 On the same date, Paramount+ will launch Sheridan’s other new series, Tulsa King, which stars Sylvester Stallone as a mafioso exiled to Oklahoma. James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Oct. 2022 Paul Sorvino could play more than a mobster, even though mafioso roles became standards in his prolific career. Los Angeles Times, 25 July 2022 The movie stars Jennifer Tilly as a mafioso’s girlfriend, and Gina Gershon as the ex-convict hired to do renovations on their apartment. Aimée Lutkin, ELLE, 7 June 2022 The sequel opens with Laura on her wedding day receiving a visit from her Sicilian mafioso fiancé Massimo (Michele Morrone, the human incarnation of the smoldering ruins of Rome circa AD 64) before their nuptials. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 27 Apr. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mafioso.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Italian, from Italian dialect (Sicily) mafiusu gallant, swaggerer, perhaps alteration of marfusu scoundrel

First Known Use

1875, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mafioso was in 1875

Dictionary Entries Near mafioso

Cite this Entry

“Mafioso.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


ma·​fi·​o·​so ˌmäf-ē-ˈō-sō How to pronounce mafioso (audio)
plural mafiosi -sē How to pronounce mafioso (audio)
: a member of the Mafia

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