rack·​e·​teer | \ ˌra-kə-ˈtir How to pronounce racketeer (audio) \

Definition of racketeer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one who obtains money by an illegal enterprise usually involving intimidation


racketeered; racketeering; racketeers

Definition of racketeer (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to carry on a racket

transitive verb

: to extort money from

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Synonyms for racketeer

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of racketeer in a Sentence

Noun the racketeer threatened to have his thugs vandalize the shop if the shopkeeper didn't pay him a monthly bribe
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Buchalter, a prolific killer, one-time head of the murder-for-hire outfit known as Murder, Inc. and an energetic labor racketeer. Rick Kogan, chicagotribune.com, "The dark secret behind the success of Sid Luckman, the greatest Bears quarterback ever," 11 Sep. 2019 Based on the violent life of the racketeer who ruled Chicago’s criminal underworld during the ‘20s and ‘30s. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 The film follows Brickman who grows up among racketeers on the Lower East Side of New York City where she’s drawn to the glamorous and flashy lifestyle of New York mobsters. James Hibberd, EW.com, "Jennifer Lawrence to star in Mob Girl adaptation," 24 July 2019 At one point, former boxing champ Abe Attell, a bagman for New York City racketeer Arnold Rothstein, waved $1,000 bills in the Sinton’s lobby while soliciting bets on the Reds. Katherine Rodeghier, chicagotribune.com, "From scandals to milestones, an expanded museum and tours celebrate 150 years of baseball in Cincinnati," 12 June 2019 Its triad of main characters consists of Eddie Kerrigan, a bagman for a penny-ante racketeer; his charismatic daughter Anna; and Dexter Styles, a dapper nightclub owner and a big cheese in a major crime syndicate. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "The Best New Fiction," 29 Sep. 2017 Its triad of main characters consists of Eddie Kerrigan, a bagman for a penny-ante racketeer Sam Sacks, WSJ, "The Best New Fiction," 29 Sep. 2017 And whatever remote chance there was that the crisis could be calmed by talking it out vanished when a federal grand jury in Miami indicted Noriega as a drug racketeer. Glenn Garvin, miamiherald, "Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega is dead," 30 May 2017 At upper left is Mike Elliott, whose campaign for Multnomah County sheriff would be financed by gambling racketeers. OregonLive.com, "Portland gloried in its sexy, secret gambling dens in the 1930s: Take our walking tour," 23 May 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ernst, who declined to comment through his lawyer, pleaded not guilty to racketeering conspiracy. Daniel Golden, ProPublica, "An Unseen Victim of the College Admissions Scandal: The High School Tennis Champion Aced Out by a Billionaire Family," 8 Oct. 2019 Singer, the scheme's mastermind, has pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice. Eric Levenson, CNN, "2nd parent in college admissions scam sentenced to 4 months in prison," 24 Sep. 2019 Folkerts has pleaded not guilty to racketeering conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, kidnapping in aid of racketeering resulting in death, kidnapping resulting in death and conspiracy to commit kidnapping resulting in death. oregonlive, "Ex-Gypsy Joker motorcycle club member accused of racketeering fears retaliation in custody, testimony reveals," 10 Sep. 2019 The three raids come amid ongoing corruption probes at City Hall, including the bombshell racketeering indictment filed in late May against Ald. Ray Long, chicagotribune.com, "FBI raids downstate home of longtime ComEd lobbyist who is close confidant of Speaker Madigan," 18 July 2019 Barronette was convicted of drug and racketeering conspiracy charges, but federal prosecutors said the gang was responsible for nine murders. Jessica Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "Feds indict Baltimore man on drug charges; police say he is tied to violent group of dealers," 6 June 2019 Khosroshahin has pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and is cooperating with the federal prosecutors in Massachusetts, who exposed Singer’s scam. Matthew Ormseth, Los Angeles Times, "A $100,000 bribe got teen a UCLA soccer scholarship without even playing," 19 Aug. 2019 Sater also pleaded guilty to racketeering in 1998 in a $40 million stock-fraud scheme and cooperated with authorities against mafia defendants. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "Who is Felix Sater? Convicted felon who pushed plan for a Trump Tower in Moscow misses House hearing," 21 June 2019 Plummer, 30, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty in November to one count of racketeering conspiracy. Washington Post, "Five years after 3-year-old McKenzie Elliott was killed on her Baltimore porch, gunman gets 25-year sentence," 29 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'racketeer.' 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 racketeer


1924, in the meaning defined above


1928, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Time Traveler for racketeer

Time Traveler

The first known use of racketeer was in 1924

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Statistics for racketeer

Last Updated

2 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Racketeer.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racketeered. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for racketeer


How to pronounce racketeer (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of racketeer

: a person who makes money through illegal activities


rack·​e·​teer | \ ˌra-kə-ˈtir How to pronounce racketeer (audio) \

Kids Definition of racketeer

: a person who gets money or advantages by using force or threats


rack·​e·​teer | \ ˌra-kə-ˈtir How to pronounce racketeer (audio) \

Legal Definition of racketeer

: one that engages in racketeering

Other Words from racketeer

racketeer verb

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More from Merriam-Webster on racketeer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for racketeer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with racketeer

Spanish Central: Translation of racketeer

Nglish: Translation of racketeer for Spanish Speakers

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