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

Origin of gangster

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900; gang1 + -ster

Synonyms for gangster Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gangster

Contemporary Examples of gangster

Historical Examples of gangster

  • The man reminded him of a Chicago gangster he once had seen captured.

  • He slipped into position on one side of the gangster, Ginsburg on the other.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • "I thought so," he said, choosing to ignore the gangster and addressing Casane.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • Most of you are of no higher motivation than are the two dictators and your gangster Clyden.

    The Galaxy Primes

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • The gangster must have received the liquid fire in the face and eyes.

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

Word Origin and History for gangster

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper