ma·​fi·​o·​so | \ ˌmä-fē-ˈō-(ˌ)sō How to pronounce mafioso (audio) , ˌma-, -(ˌ)zō\
plural mafiosi\ -​(ˌ)sē How to pronounce mafiosi (audio) , -​(ˌ)zē \

Definition of mafioso

: a member of the Mafia or a mafia

Examples of mafioso in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

While appearing to be ‘revolutionary brethren in arms’, Maduro grants them certain powers and criminal territories to run as great mafiosi do. Antonio Maria Delgado, miamiherald, "Here's why Venezuelan leader Maduro won't push his old rival out of the regime," 22 June 2018 Clean-cut, with a penchant for oversized glasses and black clothing, Shulaya, who was from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, looked more tech bro than mafioso. Garrett Graff, Longreads, "A Vor Never Sleeps," 5 June 2018 That didn’t stop him from continuing to report on the mafia and taking a number of the mafiosi who threatened him to court. Gaia Pianigiani, New York Times, "The Mafia Reporter With a Police Escort (and the 200 Journalists Like Him)," 20 May 2018 Get our daily newsletter Gangs are nothing new: bikers and Balkan mafiosi have traded drugs and occasional bullets in Sweden since the early 1990s. The Economist, "Gangs of StockholmWhy are young men in Sweden shooting each other?," 8 Mar. 2018 This Italian drama is based on the harrowing true story of a 13-year-old boy kidnapped by Mafia figures in the 1990s and held captive for two years to prevent his father, another mafioso, from testifying against them in court. Chicago Reader, "The 2017 Chicago International Film Festival, reviewed," 12 Oct. 2017 Meanwhile, in Russia, oligarchs and mafioso were on the ascent. Craig Unger,, "Why Robert Mueller Has Trump SoHo in His Sights," 13 Aug. 2017 Meanwhile, in Russia, oligarchs and mafioso were on the ascent. Craig Unger, The Hive, "Why Robert Mueller Has Trump SoHo in His Sights," 13 Aug. 2017 Unsurprisingly, as with many post-Soviet regimes in places like Uzbekistan, Russia, and Kazakhstan, the notion of the first family as mafiosi has gained increasing cachet over the past few years. Casey Michel, New Republic, "The Donald Trump Jr. Email Scandal Goes Well Beyond Russia," 14 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mafioso.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mafioso

1875, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mafioso

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

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ma foi


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Time Traveler for mafioso

The first known use of mafioso was in 1875

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English Language Learners Definition of mafioso

: a member of the Mafia

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mafioso

Spanish Central: Translation of mafioso

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to boil down or concentrate

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