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 Islamic State has also lost most of its territory in Syria and Iraq in recent months, including its de facto capital of Raqqa, Syria, prompting American officials to express concern that the organization would turn its attention to Afghanistan. Rod Nordland And Zabihullah Ghazi, New York Times, "ISIS Leader in Afghanistan Is Killed in U.S. Airstrike," 9 Apr. 2018 As well as offering a meal and providing a de facto community center—and phone-charging station—for migrants stopping over in Tapachula, Sadek acts as a kind of fixer. Lauren Markham, The New Republic, "How efforts to block refugees and asylum-seekers from Europe have only made the global migration crisis more complex and harrowing," 26 Feb. 2018 For anyone driving into the Alpensia resort, the de facto nerve center of the Winter Games, the signs for a casino are posted everywhere. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "South Korea wants to build casino industry where all are welcome but Koreans," 23 Feb. 2018 Aldermen around downtown and hip neighborhoods near the lakefront and on the Northwest Side have complained swaths of their wards are turning into de facto hotel zones as investors buy condo units to use exclusively as short-term rental properties. John Byrne, chicagotribune.com, "Emanuel calls for new fee on Airbnb rentals," 12 June 2018 But not everything is a de facto prototype: In the entry hallway, a large-scale black-and-white abstract painting with pops of fiery red and light blue, by Samuel’s artist father, Roger Sandes, takes up one wall. Gisela Williams, ELLE Decor, "The Vivacious 18th-Century Marakesh Medina of Two L.A. Transplants," 28 Dec. 2018 The setting, the Terrace at the Sunset Tower Hotel, provided the perfect de facto clubhouse for Vogue100 to launch in elegance and chat about all things red carpet, among florals from Lily Lodge. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "The Vogue100 Hosts an Intimate, Post-Golden Globes Lunch," 8 Jan. 2019 Until recently a public meeting between Israel’s prime minister and Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler would have seemed impossible. Karen Elliott House, WSJ, "Will Netanyahu Go to Riyadh?," 6 Jan. 2019 Looking at the specs, what stands out here is its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti which, while not necessarily a workhorse for gaming, is the de facto GPU in gaming laptops that usually costs hundreds more. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "At $599, HP’s gaming laptop is an even better deal for casual gamers," 18 Dec. 2018

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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Statistics for de facto

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Time Traveler for de facto

The first known use of de facto was in 1601

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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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Comments on de facto

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