un·​der·​boss | \ ˈən-dər-ˌbȯs How to pronounce underboss (audio) \

Definition of underboss

: a boss ranking next below the head of a branch of a crime syndicate

Examples of underboss in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Gravano pleaded guilty to a racketeering charge and testified at length at trial against Gotti and Frank Locascio, the underboss of the Gambino crime family. Danny Cevallos /, NBC News, "Trump says Cohen won't 'flip': How do prosecutors get witnesses to turn?," 22 Apr. 2018 Salvatore Gravano, the former underboss of the Gambino crime family in New York who became a government informer, admitted to killing 19 people. Joseph Goldstein And Benjamin Weiser, New York Times, "After 78 Killings, a Honduran Drug Lord Partners With the U.S.," 7 Oct. 2017 While serving as an underboss with New York's Gambino crime family, Gravano took part in 19 homicides and oversaw a vast enterprise of extortion, fraud and other felonies. Dennis Wagner, USA TODAY, "Ex-Mafia hit man and turncoat 'Sammy the Bull' released from prison," 21 Sep. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of underboss

1942, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about underboss

Time Traveler for underboss

Time Traveler

The first known use of underboss was in 1942

See more words from the same year

Statistics for underboss

Cite this Entry

“Underboss.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underboss. Accessed 28 Sep. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on underboss

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about underboss

Comments on underboss

What made you want to look up underboss? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!