Definition of fascism
- early instances of army fascism and brutality
- —J. W. Aldridge
the rise of Fascism in Europe before World War II
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.
The English words fascism and fascist are borrowings from Italian fascismo and fascista, derivatives of fascio (plural fasci), “bundle, fasces, group.” Fascista was first used in 1914 to refer to members of a fascio, or political group. In 1919, fascista was applied to the black-shirted members of Benito Mussolini’s organization, the Fasci di combattimento (“combat groups”), who seized power in Italy in 1922. Playing on the word fascista, Mussolini’s party adopted the fasces, a bundle of rods with an ax among them, as a symbol of the Italian people united and obedient to the single authority of the state. The English word fascist was first used for members of Mussolini’s fascisti, but it has since been generalized to those of similar beliefs.
First Known Use: 1921See Words from the same year
What made you want to look up fascism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).