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de facto

[ dee fak-toh, dey ]
/ di ˈfæk toʊ, deɪ /
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adverb, adjective
in fact; in reality: Although his title was prime minister, he was de facto president of the country.They are forbidden from leaving the camp, thereby being de facto in a state of detention.
actually existing, especially when without lawful authority (distinguished from de jure): He led efforts to reduce de facto segregation in the city's public schools.
noun
Australia. a person who lives with someone in an intimate romantic relationship but is not married to that person.
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Origin of de facto

First recorded in 1595–1605; from Latin dē factō literally, “from the fact”

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH de facto

de facto , de jure
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use de facto in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for de facto

de facto
/ (deɪ ˈfæktəʊ) /

adverb
in fact
adjective
existing in fact, whether legally recognized or nota de facto regime Compare de jure
noun plural -tos
Australian and NZ a de facto husband or wife

Word Origin for de facto

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

Cultural definitions for de facto

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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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