[ volt-fahs, vohlt-; French vawltuh-fas ]
See synonyms for volte-face on Thesaurus.com
noun,plural volte-face.
  1. a turnabout, especially a reversal of opinion or policy.

Origin of volte-face

First recorded in 1810–20; from French, from Italian voltafaccia, equivalent to volta turn (see volt2) + faccia face

Words Nearby volte-face

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use volte-face in a sentence

  • It leaves out only the actual reason for her abrupt, 11th-hour volte-face.

    How Hillary's Feeling About Caroline | Christopher Buckley | January 24, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • They turned tail with screams and fled to a distance, more than one falling in the sudden volte-face.

    The Long Night | Stanley Weyman
  • She destroyed whatever chance there was of a sudden volte-face on its part—and oh, the glorious uncertainty of this class of cat!

    Somehow Good | William de Morgan
  • And for all their talk of freedom, Lennan could see the volte-face his friends would be making, if they only knew.

    The Dark Flower | John Galsworthy
  • The Commune in Paris caused a complete volte face of the liberal bourgeoisie in Denmark, as elsewhere.

British Dictionary definitions for volte-face


/ (ˈvɒltˈfɑːs) /

nounplural volte-face
  1. a reversal, as in opinion or policy

  2. a change of position so as to look, lie, etc, in the opposite direction

Origin of volte-face

C19: from French, from Italian volta-faccia, from volta a turn + faccia face

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