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
fascistplay \ˈfa-shist also -sist\ noun or adjective, often capitalized
fascisticplay \fa-ˈshi-stik also -ˈsi-\ adjective, often capitalized
fascisticallyplay \fa-ˈshi-sti-k(ə-)lē also -ˈsi-\ adverb, often capitalized
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
Recent Examples of fascism from the Web
The most consistent and consequential foe of European fascism was a man of the Right, Winston Churchill.
Having defeated fascism in Germany, the Soviet Union imported some of its ideas and practices, which bore fruits decades later.
And now liberal America turns to an opaque national-security apparatus, and one of its chief defenders in Wittes, as a bulwark against creeping fascism.
In pages brimming with the political struggles of the twentieth century, Sachs reveals the fiery eloquence Toscanini directed against the evils of fascism.
For two months, Daily roamed the European continent by train, boat, bus, taxi and streetcar, exploring the Great Cities, marveling at the historical icons and museums — and observing, with trepidation, the rise of fascism in Italy and Germany.
At a recent performance, laughs and applause had a way of dissolving into uneasy quiet as the show’s depictions of fascism and hate revealed themselves, smuggled in discreetly under cover of hedonistic decadence.
Anger, a Hollywood devotee with avant-garde ambitions, was obsessed with celebrity, beauty, and the relationships among fame, pop music, the counter-culture, and fascism.
Political correctness is just another form of fascism.
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 Italian origin of fascism
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.
Origin and Etymology of fascism
Italian fascismo, from fascio bundle, fasces, group, from Latin fascis bundle & fasces fasces
First Known Use: 1921See Words from the same year
FASCISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of fascism for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of fascism for Students
: a political system headed by a dictator in which the government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted
Seen and Heard
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