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fait accompli

[fe ta-kawn-plee] /fɛ ta kɔ̃ˈpli/
noun, plural faits accomplis
[fe za-kawn-plee] /fɛ za kɔ̃ˈpli/ (Show IPA).
an accomplished fact; a thing already done:
The enemy's defeat was a fait accompli long before the formal surrender.
Origin of fait accompli
First recorded in 1835-45 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fait accompli
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I believe you would have surrendered to the fait accompli—yes, I believe you would!

    The Coryston Family Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Now, obviously, if I killed all the poppies in the world, that would be a fait accompli.

    Revenge Arthur Porges
  • It is the meaning of truth as fait accompli which is here defined.

  • The suicide was a fait accompli at last, and Roddy Prinn was no more.

  • And this, of course, remains to you, since the marriage is a fait accompli?

British Dictionary definitions for fait accompli

fait accompli

/fɛt akɔ̃pli/
noun (pl) faits accomplis (fɛz akɔ̃pli)
something already done and beyond alteration
Word Origin
literally: accomplished fact
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 fait accompli

French, literally "an accomplished fact" (see feat).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fait accompli in Culture
fait accompli [(fayt uh-kom-plee, fet ah-kohm-plee)]

Something that has already been done: “The company president did not discuss the new hiring policy with her board of directors; instead she put it into effect and presented the board with a fait accompli.” From French, meaning “an accomplished fact.”

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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