Fabian definition

Pronunciation key



  1. A member of the Fabian Society or a Fabian Socialist.
  2. of, relating to, or being a society of socialists organized in England in 1884 to gradually spread socialist principles.
  3. Using a cautious policy and strategy of delay, avoidance of battle like that of Quintus Fabius Maximus Verucosus (died 203 B.C.), who, in the Second Punic War with Hannibal, acquired the name Cunctator or Delayer, because he avoided direct engagements and used dilatory tactics, thereby foiling his antagonist; hence, practicing the policy of delay. — n. —

  • Fa’bi·an·ism n.
  • Fa’bi·an·ist n. & adj.
  • Fabian n.


  • Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language (College Edition) ©1955
  • Funk and Wagnall's Standard Dictionary, Comprehensive International Edition, ©1976
  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary & Thesaurus, ©2004

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