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

Examples of mafioso in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The romantic relationship between Chechen mafioso NoHo Hank and Bolivian crime boss Cristobal. Longreads, 26 Jan. 2024 Mean Streets, his 1973 crime drama that forged the template for all his later gangster films, finds Harvey Keitel's protagonist constantly reckoning with the imbalance between his Catholic faith and his lifestyle as an up-and-coming mafioso., 26 Oct. 2023 As in the Western caper Butch Cassidy, Newman and Redford play outlaws of sorts in The Sting: 1930s grifters Henry Gondorff and Johnny Hooker, who work together to pull off a heist against a Chicago mafioso. Hilton Dresden, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Jan. 2024 The most gruesome is the most ludicrous — either McCall pushing the pressure points in a fiend’s hand (warning of his bowel evacuation) or McCall plunging a pistol into a mafioso’s eye socket. Armond White, National Review, 1 Sep. 2023 Created by Taylor Sheridan, the show stars Stallone as an aging mafioso who’s exiled to Tulsa, Okla., by his New York crime family after spending 25 years in prison. Matthew Chernov, Variety, 6 June 2023 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

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 13 Jun. 2024.

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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