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[gang-ster] /ˈgæŋ stər/
a member of a gang of criminals, especially a racketeer.
Origin of gangster
1895-1900, Americanism; gang1 + -ster
mobster, hoodlum, crook, thug; hood, goon. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gangster
  • The gangster rappers take the money and the opprobrium, while the bohemians get the critical raves but can't sell records.
  • In a newspaper interview he defended himself against accusations that he was a gangster.
  • The intertwined stories of people drawn together one night after a gangster is murdered.
  • Those reading this who think academia is above such gangster politics are sadly mistaken.
  • We are the reason why no gangster is living in paradise.
  • The characters' outsized actions seem quite natural when those characters are fervent, gun-toting gangster kids.
  • Even small children greet each other with gangster hand signals.
  • Soon, he took on the mannerisms of a gangster, and began to act tough and talk out of the corner of his mouth.
  • The promoters, for security reasons, wanted an upscale crowd without too many gangster overtones.
  • Tells how he became obsessed with gang life and was irked that he was not seen as a gangster.
British Dictionary definitions for gangster


a member of an organized gang of criminals, esp one who resorts to violence
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gangster

1896, American English, from gang in its criminal sense + -ster.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for gangster



: gangster movie/ the gangster menace

  1. A member of a criminal gang; an organized-crime figure; mobster, wiseguy (1908+)
  2. A marijuana cigarette: Just go on and smoke that gangster and be real cool (1950s+ Narcotics)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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