[ volt-fahs, vohlt-; French vawltuh-fas ]
/ vɒltˈfɑs, voʊlt-; French vɔltəˈfas /

noun, plural volte-face.

a turnabout, especially a reversal of opinion or policy.

Origin of volte-face

1810–20; < French < Italian voltafaccia, equivalent to volta turn (see volt2) + faccia face
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Examples from the Web for volte-face

British Dictionary definitions for volte-face


/ (ˈvɒltˈfɑːs) /

noun plural volte-face

a reversal, as in opinion or policy
a change of position so as to look, lie, etc, in the opposite direction

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for volte-face


a reversal of opinion, 1819, French, from Italian volta faccia, literally "turn face," from volta, imper. of voltare "to turn" (from Vulgar Latin *volvita, from Latin volvere "to roll;" see volvox) + faccia (see face).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper