fascism

noun
fas·​cism | \ ˈfa-ˌshi-zəm How to pronounce fascism (audio) also ˈfa-ˌsi- \

Definition of fascism

1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control early instances of army fascism and brutality— J. W. Aldridge

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Other Words from fascism

fascist \ ˈfa-​shist How to pronounce fascism (audio) also  -​sist \ noun or adjective, often capitalized
fascistic \ fa-​ˈshi-​stik How to pronounce fascism (audio) also  -​ˈsi-​ \ adjective, often capitalized
fascistically \ fa-​ˈshi-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce fascism (audio) also  -​ˈsi-​ \ adverb, often capitalized

The Italian Origin of Fascism

The words fascism and fascist have long been associated with the Fascisti of Benito Mussolini and the fasces, the bundle of rods with an ax among them, which the Fascisti used as a symbol of the Italian people united and obedient to the single authority of the state. However, Mussolini did not introduce the word fascista (plural fascisti) with the 1919 organization of the Fasci di combattimento (“combat groups”), nor did the fasces have any direct connection with the origin of fascista. In Italian, the word fascio (plural fasci) means literally “bundle,” and figuratively “group.” From at least 1872 fascio was used in the names of labor and agrarian unions, and in October 1914 a political coalition was formed called the Fascio rivoluzionario d’ azione internazionalista (“revolutionary group for international action”), which advocated Italian participation in World War I on the side of the Allies. Members of this group were first called fascisti in January 1915. Although Mussolini was closely associated with this interventionist movement, it had no direct link with the post-war Fasci di combattimento, and in 1919 the word fascista was already in political circulation. It is, however, to the Fascisti in their 1919 incarnation—who seized power in Italy three years later—that we owe the current customary meanings of our words fascism and fascist.

Examples of fascism in a Sentence

From the first hours of Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union, the propagandists on both sides of the conflict portrayed the struggle in stark, Manichaean language. The totalitarian nature of both regimes made this inevitable. On one side stood Hitler, fascism, the myth of German supremacy; on the other side stood Stalin, communism, and the international proletarian revolution. — Anne Applebaum, New York Review of Books, 25 Oct. 2007 Consider what happened during the crisis of global fascism. At first, even the truth about Hitler was inconvenient. Many in the west hoped the danger would simply go away. — Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, 2006 He collected stories about groups similar to his—Aryans, other Nazis, the KKK. Lately, he'd been flagging many stories from Germany and Eastern Europe, and was quite thrilled with the rise of fascism there. — John Grisham, The Chamber, 1995 the rise of Fascism in Europe before World War II
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Recent Examples on the Web Yet in many histories of fascism and World War II, Hitler and his war machine receive almost all the attention, while Mussolini and the role of his armed forces are little more than an afterthought. Washington Post, "World War II’s less-famous fascist," 31 Dec. 2020 Then, too, what with all the unhinged nationalism and creeping fascism in these movies, life, lately, imitates art. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, "Does “Wonder Woman 1984” Hide Its Hero’s True Superpowers?," 25 Dec. 2020 Her Sylvia is a Cassandra, foresighted but rarely heeded, who as early as 1923 raised the alarm about fascism. Deborah Cohen, The Atlantic, "The Real Legacy of the Suffrage Movement," 20 Dec. 2020 Similar to the shadow person that lives off stress and dysfunction, so, too, does fascism. Erin Corbett, refinery29.com, "One Of Trump’s Election Fraud “Witnesses” Also Says He’s Being Haunted By Ghosts. Ok!," 3 Dec. 2020 Previously, Coinbase failed to identify an acquisition target’s links to overt fascism as disqualifying. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "WhatsApp is on its way to becoming the world’s next super-app," 2 Dec. 2020 And for reasons that have nothing to do with fascism, even that partial efflorescence may be coming to an end. Rana Dasgupta, Harper's Magazine, "The Silenced Majority," 24 Nov. 2020 With fascism spreading throughout Europe, Cahun and Moore move to Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, to escape political persecution and anti-Semitism — Cahun’s father was Jewish — and live a quieter life. Michael Magras, Star Tribune, "Review: 'Paper Bullets,' by Jeffrey H. Jackson," 13 Nov. 2020 In fact, thinking of fascism or authoritarianism as an aberration, and not the expressions of tendencies that are embedded within a country, can be dangerous to the work of uprooting them. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "The US backs away from authoritarianism," 10 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fascism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fascism

1921, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fascism

Italian fascismo, from fascio bundle, fasces, group, from Latin fascis bundle & fasces fasces

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Time Traveler for fascism

Time Traveler

The first known use of fascism was in 1921

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Statistics for fascism

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fascism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fascism. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for fascism

fascism

noun
How to pronounce fascism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fascism

: a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government
: very harsh control or authority

fascism

noun, often capitalized
fas·​cism | \ ˈfa-ˌshi-zəm How to pronounce fascism (audio) \

Kids Definition of fascism

: a political system headed by a dictator in which the government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted

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Comments on fascism

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