1921, from Italian fascista, from fascio (“bundle, bunch”), in use metonymically for "group of men organized for political purposes" since 1895. Ultimately with reference to the fasces or bundles of axes and rods carried before the magistrates of ancient Rome in token of their power of life and death).
It is very common to use “fascist” in an almost indiscriminate manner for political opponents, cf. George Orwell, “What is Fascism?” (1944): “It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.”
- Of or relating to fascism.
- Supporting the principles of fascism.
- 2020 March 2, Henry A. Giroux, “Auschwitz Survivors Don’t Want Their Past to Be Their Grandchildren’s Future”, in Truthout:
- Under demagogues such as Donald Trump in the U.S., Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Recep Erdoğan in Turkey, Narendra Modi in India and Viktor Orbán in Hungary, a moral abyss has emerged in which state violence, widespread repression and a surge of lawlessness against those considered disposable have become the hallmark of an updated fascist politics.
- (informal) Unfairly oppressive or needlessly strict.
- I have a fascist boss.
fascist (plural fascists)
- A member of a political party or other organization that advocates fascist principles.
- 2019 October 24, “Franco exhumation: Spanish dictator's remains moved”, in BBC News:
- Thursday's long-awaited relocation fulfils a key pledge of the socialist government, which said Spain should not continue to glorify a fascist who ruled the country for nearly four decades.
- A proponent of fascism.
- “fascist” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2020.
- fascist [from 1920s]