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[fas-eez] /ˈfæs iz/
noun, (usually used with a singular verb)
a bundle of rods containing an ax with the blade projecting, borne before Roman magistrates as an emblem of official power.
Origin of fasces
1590-1600; < Latin, plural of fascis bundle, pack Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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plural noun (sing) -cis (-sɪs)
(in ancient Rome) one or more bundles of rods containing an axe with its blade protruding; a symbol of a magistrate's power
(in modern Italy) such an object used as the symbol of Fascism
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, plural of fascis bundle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for fasces

1590s, from Latin fasces "bundle of rods containing an axe with the blade projecting" (plural of fascis "bundle" of wood, etc.), perhaps from PIE *bhasko- "band, bundle" (cf. Middle Irish basc "neckband," Welsh baich "load, burden," Old English bæst "inner bark of the linden tree"). Carried before a lictor, a superior Roman magistrate, as a symbol of power over life and limb: the sticks symbolized punishment by whipping, the axe head execution by beheading.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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