One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(in Italy) a member of the paramilitary wing of the National Fascist Party founded by Mussolini.
- ‘The quasi-official terror gangs of the 1920s - the Freikorps in Germany, blackshirts in Italy, and Black and Tans in Ireland - did not reappear.’
- ‘Even Mussolini's fascism attracted Jabotinsky's Revisionist Party, and the Betar youth movement was, to some degree, modeled on the Italian blackshirts.’
- 1.1 (in the UK) a supporter of Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists.
- 1.2 (in Nazi Germany) a member of the SS.
authoritarian, totalitarian, autocrat, nazi, extreme right-winger, far right-winger, rightist, militaristView synonyms
- ‘His people are like the blackshirts of Nazi Germany.’
1920s: so named because of the colour of the uniforms worn by members of the respective organizations.
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