de facto

adverb
de fac·​to | \ di-ˈfak-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce de facto (audio) , dā-, dē- \

Definition of de facto

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in reality : actually became the leader de facto

de facto

adjective

Definition of de facto (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : actual especially : being such in effect though not formally recognized a de facto state of war Whatever it says on the calendar, Florida has de facto summer. — E. L. Konigsburg has become the movement's de facto spokesperson
2 : exercising power as if legally constituted a de facto government the de facto head of state
3 : resulting from economic or social factors rather than from laws or actions of the state de facto segregation

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Examples of de facto in a Sentence

Adjective with the death of his father, he became the de facto head of the family
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The plaintiffs allege that amounted to a de facto ban on curbside voting. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "Appeals court says order allowing Alabama curbside voting can stand," 25 June 2020 By contrast, Democrats are still on a de facto lockdown. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "Trump volunteers go door to door in Wisconsin as campaign steps up in-person 'action'," 25 June 2020 Twitter’s two of President Trump’s misleading tweets about mail-in ballots with fact-check links set a de facto standard for social media companies last month. Rachel Lerman, Washington Post, "Seeing isn’t always believing: Google starts fact-checking images," 22 June 2020 Precedent remained in force, and protections under the new de facto constitution, Basic Law, as well as various international treaties, guaranteed a degree of fairness and freedom not seen in China, where the conviction rate is north of 90%. James Griffiths, CNN, "China revealed some details of Hong Kong's national security law and it's as bad as critics feared," 22 June 2020 Repeating their legendary stage performances are Julie Harris as the ferociously lonely tomboy Frankie and Ethel Waters as Berenice, her de facto surrogate mother. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "Home theater: Movies that live up to the books that inspired them," 18 June 2020 Proyecto Atlapetes is newer, but uses the brushfinch as a way to do social outreach—everybody loves their de facto mascot—and push for sustainable change. Alexandra Ossola, Quartz, "To save a nearly extinct bird, Colombians are rethinking one of their biggest economic engines," 13 June 2020 Seen from this vantage, the rationale for the exorbitant funding of the police stems from their de facto mandate to manage the fallout from the many other challenges that the state has effectively chosen not to address. David Roth, The New Republic, "Twilight of the Cop Consensus," 11 June 2020 This caused widespread anxiety in immigrant communities and the establishment of de facto internal borders that circumscribed the physical spaces people inhabited, and sometimes confined them to their homes. Adam Goodman, Time, "How 1970s U.S. Immigration Policy Put Mexican Migrants at the Center of a System of Mass Expulsion," 23 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'de facto.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of de facto

Adverb

1601, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

circa 1689, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for de facto

Adverb

borrowed from Medieval Latin, literally, "from the fact"

Adjective

derivative of de facto entry 1

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Time Traveler for de facto

Time Traveler

The first known use of de facto was in 1601

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Statistics for de facto

Cite this Entry

“De facto.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/de%20facto. Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for de facto

de facto

adverb
de fac·​to | \ di-ˈfak-tō, dā-, dē- How to pronounce de facto (audio) \

Legal Definition of de facto

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in reality : actually these two constraints have been lifted, one de facto and one de jure— Susan Lee

de facto

adjective

Legal Definition of de facto (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : actual especially : being such in effect though not formally recognized — see also de facto segregation at segregation
2 : exercising power as if legally constituted or authorized a de facto government a de facto judge — compare de jure

History and Etymology for de facto

Adverb

Medieval Latin, literally, from the fact

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