• synonyms

Black Hand



Italian La Mano Nera. any of various secret criminal groups organized in Italy and operating in the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, practicing blackmail and violence.
an anarchistic society in Spain, suppressed in 1883.
a nationalistic society in Serbia, suppressed in 1914.


Black PanthersRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.


mob, Mafia, gangland, syndicate, underworld
Related formsBlack·hand·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for black hand

  • We can throttle anything from a black-hand agent to a ghost.

    Campfire Girls in the Allegheny Mountains|Stella M. Francis
  • Cecala proved a valuable aid to the two "Black-Hand" captains.

    The Barrel Mystery|William J. (William James) Flynn
  • Another letter follows which may also help the reader to a conclusion as to whether such a thing exists as a "Black-Hand" Society.

    The Barrel Mystery|William J. (William James) Flynn
  • He will never be reached by the Black-Hand gang without several of them paying with their lives for his.

    The Barrel Mystery|William J. (William James) Flynn

British Dictionary definitions for black hand

Black Hand


a group of Sicilian blackmailers and terrorists formed in the 1870s and operating in the US in the early 20th century
(in 19th-century Spain) an organization of anarchists
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

Word Origin and History for black hand

Black Hand


Italian immigrant secret society in U.S., 1904; earlier a Spanish anarchist society, both from the warning mark they displayed to potential victims.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper