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fasces

[fas-eez] /ˈfæs iz/
noun, (usually used with a singular verb)
1.
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
1590-1600; < Latin, plural of fascis bundle, pack
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fasces
  • The pedestal is embellished with wreaths and fasces, which are bundles of rods symbolizing governmental authority.
  • The shield shall have a design consisting of emanating sunrays bordered on the top and bottom by representations of a fasces.
  • The lower part of the base is decorated with fasces and wreaths.
British Dictionary definitions for fasces

fasces

/ˈfæsiːz/
plural noun (sing) -cis (-sɪs)
1.
(in ancient Rome) one or more bundles of rods containing an axe with its blade protruding; a symbol of a magistrate's power
2.
(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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fasces
n.

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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