de facto

1de fac·to

adverb \di-ˈfak-(ˌ)tō, dā-, dē-\

Definition of DE FACTO

:  in reality :  actually

Origin of DE FACTO

Medieval Latin, literally, from the fact
First Known Use: 1601

2de facto


Definition of DE FACTO

:  actual; especially :  being such in effect though not formally recognized <a de facto state of war>
:  exercising power as if legally constituted <a de facto government>
:  resulting from economic or social factors rather than from laws or actions of the state <de facto segregation>

Examples of DE FACTO

  1. <with the death of his father, he became the de facto head of the family>

First Known Use of DE FACTO

circa 1689

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi


Next Word in the Dictionary: defailance
Previous Word in the Dictionary: deface
All Words Near: de facto

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up de facto? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).