- 1921, from Italian partito nazionale fascista, the anti-communist political movement organized 1919 under Benito Mussolini (1883-1945); from Italian fascio "group, association," literally "bundle" (see fasces).
With fascism, originally used in English in its Italian form, as an Italian word. [Fowler: "Whether this full anglicization of the words is worth while cannot be decided till we know whether the things are to be temporary or permanent in England" -- probably an addition to the 1930 reprint, retained in 1944 U.S. edition.] Fasci "groups of men organized for political purposes" had been a feature of Sicily since c.1895, and the 20c. totalitatrian sense probably came directly from this, but influenced by the Roman fasces, which became the party symbol. Related: Fascistic.