What does fasces mean?

Definitions for fasces
ˈfæs izfasces

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word fasces.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. fascesnoun

    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


  1. fascesnoun

    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

  2. Etymology: From fasces, plural of fascis

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. FASCESnoun

    Rods anciently carried before the consuls as a mark of their authority.

    Etymology: Latin.

    The duke beheld, like Scipio, with disdain,
    That Carthage, which he ruin’d, rise once more;
    And shook aloft the fasces of the main,
    To fright those slaves with what they felt before. Dryden.


  1. Fasces

    Fasces (English: FASS-eez; Latin: [ˈfaskeːs]; a plurale tantum, from the Latin word fascis, meaning "bundle"; Italian: fascio littorio) is a bound bundle of wooden rods, sometimes including an axe (occasionally two axes) with its blade emerging. The fasces is an Italian symbol that had its origin in the Etruscan civilization and was passed on to ancient Rome, where it symbolized a magistrate's power and jurisdiction. The axe originally associated with the symbol, the Labrys (Greek: λάβρυς, lábrys) the double-bitted axe, originally from Crete, is one of the oldest symbols of Greek civilization. To the Romans, it was known as a bipennis.The image has survived in the modern world as a representation of magisterial or collective power, law, and governance. The fasces frequently occurs as a charge in heraldry: it is present on the reverse of the U.S. Mercury dime coin and behind the podium in the United States House of Representatives; and it was the origin of the name of the National Fascist Party in Italy (from which the term fascism is derived). During the first half of the twentieth century both the swastika and the fasces (each symbol having its own unique ancient religious and mythological associations) became heavily identified with the fascist political movements of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. During this period the swastika became deeply stigmatized, but the fasces did not undergo a similar process. The fasces remained in use in many societies after World War II due to its already having been adopted and incorporated into the iconography of numerous governments outside Italy, prior to Mussolini. Such iconographical use persists in governmental and various other contexts. In contrast, the swastika remains in common usage only in Asia, where it originated as an ancient Hindu symbol, and in Navajo iconography, where its religious significance is entirely unrelated to, and predates, early 20th-century European fascism.


  1. fasces

    Fasces are a symbol of power and authority in ancient Rome, consisting of a bundle of wooden rods tied together around an axe. This symbol is often found in various aspects of Roman culture and is used today in various contexts to represent different forms of governmental authority.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Fasces

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

  2. Etymology: [L., pl. of fascis bundle; cf. fascia a band, and Gr. fa`kelos a bundle.]


  1. Fasces

    Fasces is a bound bundle of wooden rods, sometimes including an axe with its blade emerging. The fasces had its origin in the Etruscan civilization, and was passed on to ancient Rome, where it symbolized a magistrate's power and jurisdiction. The image has survived as a representation of magisterial power. A secondary meaning of the bundling of sticks may have been "strength through unity". Fasces frequently occurs as a charge in heraldry, and should not be confused with the related term, fess, which in French heraldry is called a fasce.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Fasces

    fas′ēz, n.pl. a bundle of rods with an axe in the middle, borne before the ancient Roman principal magistrates. [L. fascis, a bundle.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Fasces

    a bundle of rods bound round the helve of an axe, and borne by the lictors before the Roman magistrates in symbol of their authority at once to scourge and decapitate.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. fasces

    Bundles of rods usually made of birch, but sometimes of elm, with an axe projecting from the middle of them, which were carried before the chief magistrates of ancient Rome, as symbols of their power over life and limb. They were borne by the lictors, at first before the kings; in the time of the republic, before consuls and prætors; and afterwards before the emperors.

Suggested Resources

  1. fasces

    The fasces symbol -- In this Symbols.com article you will learn about the meaning of the fasces symbol and its characteristic.

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How to pronounce fasces?

How to say fasces in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of fasces in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of fasces in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Translations for fasces

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"fasces." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 26 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/fasces>.

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    warn strongly; put on guard
    • A. monish
    • B. abrade
    • C. caddie
    • D. excogitate

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