omertà

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Italian omertà.

Noun[edit]

omertà (uncountable)

  1. A code of silence amongst members of a criminal organization (especially the Mafia) that forbids divulging insider secrets to law enforcement.
    • 2005, Boston Globe, March 4, 2005:
      Patriarca pleaded guilty in December 1991 to racketeering and conspiracy charges, but he refused to admit he was a member of the Mafia, clinging to his vow of 'omerta' to the secret organization.
    • 2006, Los Angeles Times, October 27, 2006:
      There was a time that high-profile killings such as the 1968 assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. brought passionate cries for limitations on handguns. A bipartisan omerta now smothers the issue.

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Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Southern dialect form of umiltà (humility).

Noun[edit]

omertà f (invariable)

  1. omertà
  2. code of silence

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