From Italian fascismo, from fascio (“fasces, bundle, group”) + -ismo (“-ism”) with direct reference to Benito Mussolini's fasci di combattimento ("fight clubs"), from Latin fasces, bundles of axes and rods carried before the magistrates of the ancient Roman Republic as representative of their power of life and death. Originally with exclusive reference to Fascist Italy which used the fasces as an emblem, later broadened to describe all of the Axis Powers of World War II, and subsequently used as a general term of opprobrium in English and international political discourse.
- Any right-wing, authoritarian, nationalist ideology characterized by centralized, totalitarian governance, strong regimentation of the economy and society, and repression of criticism or opposition. 
- 1922 December, The American Photo-engraver, volume 15, page 324:
- Today "Fascism" like Russian "Bolshevism" does not know what freedom means and cares less about the principles of liberty and the rights of man. It knows only one law and that is the will of Mussolini and his band of "Black Shirts."
- 1941, George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn, Pt. II:
- Fascism, at any rate the German version, is a form of capitalism that borrows from Socialism just such features as will make it efficient for war purposes... Ownership has never been abolished, there are still capitalists and workers, and—this is the important point, and the real reason why rich men all over the world tend to sympathize with Fascism—generally speaking the same people are capitalists and the same people workers as before the Nazi revolution. But at the same time the State, which is simply the Nazi Party, is in control of everything... The mere efficiency of such a system, the elimination of waste and obstruction, is obvious. In seven years it has built up the most powerful war machine the world has ever seen.
- 1978, Walter Laqueur, Fascism: A Reader's Guide: Analyses, Interpretations, Bibliography:
- Despite the three decades that have passed since the end of the second world war, fascism remains a subject of much heated argument. […] It also continues to be a subject of controversy, partly because it collides with so many preconceived ideological notions, partly because generalizations are made difficult by the fact that there was not one fascism but several fascisms.
- 1995 June 22, Umberto Eco, “Ur-Fascism”, in The New York Review of Books, archived from the original on 2017-01-31:
- Fascism became an all-purpose term because one can eliminate from a fascist regime one or more features, and it will still be recognizable as fascist. Take away imperialism from fascism and you still have Franco and Salazar. Take away colonialism and you still have the Balkan fascism of the Ustashes.
- (by extension, derogatory) Any system of strong autocracy or oligarchy usually to the extent of bending and breaking the law, race-baiting, and/or violence against largely unarmed populations.
- 1944, George Orwell, What Is Fascism?:
- ...even the people who recklessly fling the word ‘Fascist’ in every direction attach at any rate an emotional significance to it. By ‘Fascism’ they mean, roughly speaking, something cruel, unscrupulous, arrogant, obscurantist, anti-liberal and anti-working-class. Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathizers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come.
- 2009, Federico Finchelstein, Transatlantic Fascism: Ideology, Violence, and the Sacred in Argentina and Italy, 1919-1945:
- For Argentine fascists and nacionalistas, fascism was not a theory but a mold for Catholic thinking. For instance, one of the most significant nacionalista intellectuals, César Pico, argued that fascism was a "reaction against the calamities ascribed to liberal democracy, socialism, and capitalism. It's a reaction that, although instinctive in its origins, is searching for a doctrine that could justify it."
- (figurative, derogatory) Any extreme reliance on or enforcement of rules and regulations.
- Synonym: sticklerism
- body fascism
- fascism lite
- Islamic fascism
- red fascism
- social fascism
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- communism, Communism
- international socialism
- national socialism, National Socialism, Naziism, Nazism
- “fascism”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.
fascism n (uncountable)