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de facto

[dee fak-toh, dey] /di ˈfæk toʊ, deɪ/
adverb, adjective
in fact; in reality:
Although his title was prime minister, he was de facto president of the country. Although the school was said to be open to all qualified students, it still practiced de facto segregation.
actually existing, especially when without lawful authority (distinguished from de jure).
Australian. a person who lives in an intimate relationship with but is not married to a person of the opposite sex; lover.
Origin of de facto
First recorded in 1595-1605, de facto is from the Latin word dē factō literally, from the fact
Can be confused
de facto, de jure. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for de facto
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You doubt that it will be me, because I'm de facto the boy with all the answers.

    Breaking Point

    James E. Gunn
  • The income arising from goods goes to the de facto owner of the goods.

    The Principles of Economics Frank A. Fetter
  • Bertrand keeps saying that he must support the de facto Government.

    Sonia Married Stephen McKenna
  • The Punjab was de facto the furthest province on the north-west.

    India Under British Rule

    James Talboys Wheeler
  • The county records were in Cimarron, which had been de facto the County Seat.

    The Sunset Trail Alfred Henry Lewis
British Dictionary definitions for de facto

de facto

/deɪ ˈfæktəʊ/
in fact
existing in fact, whether legally recognized or not: a de facto regime Compare de jure
noun (pl) -tos
(Austral & NZ) a de facto husband or wife
Word Origin
C17: Latin
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 de facto

Latin, literally "in fact, in reality," thus, "existing, but not necessarily legally ordained;" from facto, ablative of factum "deed, act" (see fact).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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de facto in Culture
de facto [(di fak-toh, day fak-toh)]

Something generally accepted or agreed to without any formal decision in its favor: “They never elected him; he became their leader de facto.” From Latin, meaning “in fact.” (Compare de jure.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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