fascism

noun
fas·​cism | \ ˈfa-ˌshi-zəm 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 also  -​sist \ noun or adjective, often capitalized
fascistic \ fa-​ˈshi-​stik also  -​ˈsi-​ \ adjective, often capitalized
fascistically \ fa-​ˈshi-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē also  -​ˈsi-​ \ adverb, often capitalized

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.

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

Guillermo’s version — which will be set in Italy during the 1930s, during the rise of Mussolini’s fascism — will likely revisit some of the darker aspects of the source material. Dan Barna, Teen Vogue, "New "Pinocchio" Animated Movie Will Be Directed by Guillermo del Toro," 22 Oct. 2018 But his critics considered him the leader of a fanatic movement — a movement partially rooted in European fascism — that sought power by stoking public fears of India's large Muslim minority. Ashok Sharma, Fox News, "Former Indian PM Vajpayee dies after illness at age 93," 16 Aug. 2018 Everyone in Shanghai had seen the storm clouds gathering: Depression in the United States, fascism in Europe, Japanese aggression eating into China. The Economist, "A gripping tale of Sodom sliding towards its bloody end," 12 July 2018 In the 1930s, fascism arose under conditions of nearly complete economic collapse during the Depression. Zachary Karabell, WSJ, "The Trouble With Hitler Analogies," 30 Nov. 2018 The political model that’s needed to [deal] with — the idea of surplus disposable population — is fascism. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Meet Ash Sarkar, the Communist Who Called Piers Morgan an "Idiot"," 15 July 2018 As the United States stared down lingering Depression and erumpent fascism, its libraries became strategic assets. Jane Kamensky, WSJ, "‘The Library Book’ Review: The People’s Palace," 11 Oct. 2018 His latest foray is a grim jump over to epic fantasy with The Armored Saint and The Queen of Crows, the first installments of a trilogy that are pointed tales on the dangers of fascism. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Our favorite science fiction and fantasy books of 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 Today, a growing chorus of leaders and commentators warn that the dark clouds that descended over Europe in 1914 and then in the 1930s—the twin evils of nationalism and fascism—are forming world-wide. Zachary Karabell, WSJ, "The Trouble With Hitler Analogies," 30 Nov. 2018

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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More Definitions for fascism

fascism

noun

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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on fascism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fascism

Spanish Central: Translation of fascism

Nglish: Translation of fascism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fascism for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fascism

Comments on fascism

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