a member of a gang of criminals, especially a racketeer.

1895–1900, Americanism; gang1 + -ster

mobster, hoodlum, crook, thug; hood, goon. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gangster (ˈɡæŋstə)
a member of an organized gang of criminals, esp one who resorts to violence

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1896, Amer.Eng., from gang (q.v.) in its criminal sense. Gangland is from 1912. Gangsta rap style is generally credited to West Philly hip hop artist Schoolly D, but his "Gangster Boogie" (1984) used the conventional spelling; NWA was spelling it gangsta by 1988.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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
The intertwined stories of people drawn together one night after a gangster is
Those reading this who think academia is above such gangster politics are sadly
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