1923, title assumed by Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), fascist leader of Italy; Italian, literally "leader," from Latin ducem, from PIE root *deuk- "to lead."
Entries linking to Duce
It forms all or part of: abduce; abducent; abduct; abduction; adduce; aqueduct; circumduction; conduce; conducive; conduct; conductor; conduit; deduce; deduction; dock (n.1) "ship's berth;" doge; douche; ducal; ducat; Duce; duchess; duchy; duct; ductile; duke (n.); educate; education; induce; induction; introduce; introduction; misconduct; produce; production; reduce; reduction; seduce; seduction; subduce; subduction; taut; team (n.); teem (v.1) "abound, swarm, be prolific;" tie (n.); tow (v.); traduce; transducer; tug; zugzwang.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Latin dux (genitive ducis) "leader, commander," in Late Latin "governor of a province," ducere "to lead;" Old English togian "to pull, drag," teonteon "to pull, drag;" German Zaum "bridle," ziehen "to draw, pull, drag;" Middle Welsh dygaf "I draw."
1934, from Führer und Reichskanzler, title assumed by Hitler in 1934 as head of the German state, from German Führer "leader," from führen "to lead," from Middle High German vüeren "to lead, drive," from Old High German fuoren "to set in motion, lead," causative of faran "to go, travel," from Proto-Germanic *faran- "to go," from PIE root *per- (2) "to lead, pass over." According to OED, Hitler's title was modeled on Mussolini's Duce.
A majority can never replace the individual. ... Just as a hundred fools do not make one wise man, a heroic decision is not likely to come from a hundred cowards. [Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf," 1933]