racketeer

1 of 2

noun

rack·​e·​teer ˌra-kə-ˈtir How to pronounce racketeer (audio)
: one who obtains money by an illegal enterprise usually involving intimidation

racketeer

2 of 2

verb

racketeered; racketeering; racketeers

intransitive verb

: to carry on a racket

transitive verb

: to extort money from

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
Parts of the city turned into wastelands of racketeers and alcoholics. Simon Shuster, TIME, 4 Jan. 2024 As revealed in previously undisclosed FBI files, Manton fraternized with racketeers and accepted large loans and gifts from such unsavory sources. Time, 25 July 2023 Stephanie was cunning—even ruthless—and a notorious racketeer. The New Yorker, 4 Jan. 2023 Meanwhile, a down-and-out racketeer (Will Arnett), who once headlined in his own Disney movie seven decades ago, has vowed to undermine the company that spat him out. Amy Nicholson, Variety, 17 May 2022 In 1981, Hastings was indicted on charges of conspiring to solicit a $150,000 bribe from an FBI agent posing as a racketeer trying to buy his way out of a prison sentence. Anthony Man, sun-sentinel.com, 6 Apr. 2021 After faking his own death, cunning racketeer Harry Lime (an ever-magnetic Orson Welles) tries to escape the authorities closing in on him by fleeing into the sewers. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 22 Feb. 2021 Israel Finkelstein’s vision of King David—the vagabond, the racketeer—helped make his career as an eminent Biblical archeologist. Ruth Margalit, The New Yorker, 22 June 2020 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, 11 Sep. 2019
Verb
Cherry pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges in June. Lilly Price, Baltimore Sun, 18 Apr. 2023 Musk, a noted fan of Dogecoin and related memes, was named in lawsuit filed last year accusing him of racketeering over his promotion of the cryptocurrency. Todd Spangler, Variety, 5 Apr. 2023 What is racketeering? Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, 6 Mar. 2023 Prosecutors said the bribe to Center was arranged by a separate defendant, Martin Fox, the president of a tennis academy in Houston, who pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges in November. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, 24 Feb. 2020 Ellison and a co-defendant, Aljermiah Mack, have pleaded not guilty to racketeering charges. San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Sep. 2019 Flemmi pleaded guilty to racketeering and ten murders and is serving a life sentence. Jim Geraghty, National Review, 4 Nov. 2019 The 30-count racketeering indictment charged corrections officers Stephen Thomas and Marvella Sullivan and suspected gang member Lamar Speights. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, 24 Dec. 2019 The raids on Sandoval’s offices come amid ongoing corruption probes at City Hall, including the bombshell racketeering indictment filed against Ald. Jason Meisner, chicagotribune.com, 24 Sep. 2019 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

1924, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1928, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of racketeer was in 1924

Dictionary Entries Near racketeer

Cite this Entry

“Racketeer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racketeer. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

racketeer

noun
rack·​e·​teer
ˌrak-ə-ˈti(ə)r
: one who gets money or advantages by using force or threats
racketeer verb

Legal Definition

racketeer

noun
rack·​e·​teer ˌra-kə-ˈtir How to pronounce racketeer (audio)
: one that engages in racketeering
racketeer verb

More from Merriam-Webster on racketeer

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