fas·​ces ˈfa-ˌsēz How to pronounce fasces (audio)
plural in form but singular or plural in construction
: a bundle of rods and among them an ax with projecting blade borne before ancient Roman magistrates as a badge of authority

Illustration of fasces

Illustration of fasces

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Lictors carried the fasces as a sign of their office. John Kelly, Washington Post, 1 Oct. 2022 Behind them are two cannons, a shield, trumpet and fasces to represent war. CBS News, 28 Mar. 2022 At the Lincoln Memorial there are literally fasces, the bundle of rods bound by a leather thong. Peter Suciu, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2021

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

Word History


Latin, from plural of fascis bundle; akin to Latin fascia

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fasces was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near fasces

Cite this Entry

“Fasces.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fasces. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

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