fas路​cism | \ 藞fa-藢shi-z蓹m also 藞fa-藢si- How to pronounce fascism (audio) \

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 \ 藞fa-​shist How to pronounce fascist (audio) also  -​sist \ noun or adjective, often capitalized
fascistic \ fa-​藞shi-​stik How to pronounce fascistic (audio) also  -​藞si-​ \ adjective, often capitalized
fascistically \ fa-​藞shi-​sti-​k(蓹-​)l膿 How to pronounce fascistically (audio) also  -​藞si-​ \ 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), 鈥渂undle, fasces, group.鈥 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鈥檚 organization, the Fasci di combattimento (鈥渃ombat groups鈥?, who seized power in Italy in 1922. Playing on the word fascista, Mussolini鈥檚 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鈥檚 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鈥擜ryans, 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

Nevertheless, his work has been touted as a warning against radical visions of all kinds, used to support the argument that communism and fascism are merely two sides of the same coin. Sophie Pinkham, The New Republic, "Vasily Grossman鈥檚 Lost Epic," 27 Aug. 2019 What lies in front of us are two choices: enlightenment or fascism. . Antonia Hitchens, The New Yorker, "Marianne Williamson鈥檚 Esprit de Orb Corps," 26 Aug. 2019 But nowhere was Mandel more forward-thinking than regarding the rise of fascism in Europe. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "The Haunting of Paris: Georges Mandel and the Long Legacy of Nazi Violence," 6 Aug. 2019 Orwell went home a staunch member of the anti-communist left, unalterably opposed to imperialism and fascism but committed to calling out lies on all sides. Wendy Smith, Washington Post, "How the world of 鈥?984鈥 haunts our present," 21 June 2019 The most refreshing thing that these writers do in their own ways is get at much bigger questions than the subjects of Trump, feminism, even democracy and fascism provoke. Vogue, "Astra Taylor and Natasha Lennard Are Shaking Up 鈥淩esistance Lit鈥 (Thank God)," 10 May 2019 Immediately after the war, some in Germany worked to absolve themselves of responsibility for war atrocities and construct the notion of German victimhood or the power of the Soviet state in defeating fascism. Gail Fletcher, National Geographic, "The forgotten 鈥榳olf children鈥 of World War II," 29 July 2019 The animating spirit of fascism 鈥 its martial zeal for a statist utopian vision 鈥 seems quite welcome in the citadels of modern liberalism. Joseph Loconte, National Review, "Mussolini and the End of Liberal Democracy," 25 June 2019 Some discern in them the return of fascism, pointing to the dark history of several of the national populist parties and their willingness to overlook the hateful views of their most extreme supporters. Matthew Goodwin, WSJ, "Europe鈥檚 Populists Are Here to Stay," 14 June 2019

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



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


noun, often capitalized
fas路​cism | \ 藞fa-藢shi-z蓹m 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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recurring in steady succession

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