This mafia vocabulary lesson will help you use the words the Mafia, gangster, violent, contract, underworld, Mafioso, the Mob, racket and organised crime, correctly.

The Mafia  noun  a criminal organisation that began in Sicily and now is also in Italy and America

  • Sergio has been a member of the Mafia in Sicily since 1994.


(a) gangster  noun  a member of an organised group of criminals

  • Ronnie is a gangster and has been robbing banks since he joined the Kray gang in 1959.


violent  adjective  used to describe a situation or event in which people are hurt or killed

  • Gangsters can be violent men who commit violent crimes.


(a) contract  noun  an agreement when someone is paid to kill another person

  • Gianni had spoken to the police. Now there was a contract for his death.


(the) underworld  noun  the world of criminals and organised crime

  • The underworld is a mysterious place most people don’t see.


(a) mafioso  noun  a member of the Mafia

  • Paolo joined the Mafia in the 1970s and was now a senior mafioso.


The Mob  noun  another name for the American Mafia

  • The Mob control a lot of the casinos in New York.


(a) racket  noun  an illegal activity that makes money

  • Dino was involved in every type of racket you could imagine – drugs, guns, everything.


(an) organised crime  noun  crimes that are planned and controlled by a large powerful secret organisation

  • Money laundering is a global organised crime requiring expert knowledge of financial systems.


Now watch the video lesson and then do the mafia vocabulary exercise