Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n.pl. A bundle of rods bound together around an ax with the blade projecting, carried before ancient Roman magistrates as an emblem of authority.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Roman symbol of judicial authority consisting of a bundle of wooden sticks, with an axe blade embedded in the centre; used also as a symbol of fascism

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.pl. A bundle of rods, having among them an ax with the blade projecting, borne before the Roman magistrates as a badge of their authority.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Plural of fascis.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. bundle of rods containing an axe with the blade protruding; in ancient Rome it was a symbol of a magistrate's power; in modern Italy it is a symbol of fascism

Etymologies

Latin fasc─ôs, pl. of fascis, bundle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin fasces, plural of fascis (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It also attacks Mussolini, the clown in the pulpit on the right who is shown dangling a bundle of fasces from a sickle as he delivers a political tirade.

    Jose Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera - The Murals

  • The fasces were the insignia of a Roman praetor, consul, general, or governor.

    The Spartacus War

  • The fasces was a sacred symbol, like a royal scepter or a bishops crook.

    The Spartacus War

  • The fasces was an ancient Roman emblem of authority.

    The Great Experiment

  • In that sense, the original holders of the fasces were the mother and father of the primitve family and through the evolution of culture has become invested at the highest level in the leaders of nation-states and those who represent them.

    Palestine Blogs aggregator

  • But her Roman opposite number, Justitia, is blindfolded, carrying a bundle of rods around an ax called fasces in one hand and a flame in the other.

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  • Fascist Italy used a symbol called the fasces (the word 'fascist' comes from this), which is a bunch of sticks tied together with an axe.

    Yahoo! Answers: Latest Questions

  • This collectivism is captured in the word fascism, which comes from the Latin fasces, meaning a bundle of rods with an axe in it.

    Coalition of the Willing, to Power « raincoaster

  • The obvious high school text book definitions follow, militarism, use of propaganda (Mussolini himself had a background as a propagandist), and putting the State before the individual (the word Fascism is derrived from "fasces" which was a symbol of Roman authority; a bundle of sticks bound together with an axe symbolizing power through unity).

    nessus Diary Entry

  • They are, as it were, a kind of fasces which it would be impossible to unbind, and into which no new idea could be inserted without destroying its strength and unity.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 10: Mass Music-Newman

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