fait accompli

[ fe ta-kawn-plee ]
/ fɛ ta kɔ̃ˈpli /

noun, plural faits ac·com·plis [fe za-kawn-plee] /fɛ za kɔ̃ˈpli/. French.

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for fait accompli

fait accompli

/ French (fɛt akɔ̃pli) /

noun plural faits accomplis (fɛz akɔ̃pli)

something already done and beyond alteration

Word Origin for fait accompli

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

Word Origin and History for fait accompli

fait accompli


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for fait accompli

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