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 Indian and Chinese troops clashed along the Line of Actual Control -- the de facto border between the two countries in the Himalayas -- in June. Brad Lendon, CNN, "Australia to join India, US, Japan in large naval exercises," 20 Oct. 2020 In February, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel met with Sudan’s de facto leader, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, for talks in Uganda that were reportedly arranged by the United Arab Emirates. Lara Jakes, New York Times, "State Dept. to Remove Sudan From List of Terrorist States," 19 Oct. 2020 But to Armenians and the Armenian-majority population of the region, it’s known as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, a de facto independent state that has been outside of Azeri rule since 1988. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "How the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been shaped by past empires," 15 Oct. 2020 Currently, a string of buoys extends into the water, placed there by Israel as a de facto border that is not recognized by Lebanon or the United Nations. Washington Post, "Lebanon and Israel take up disputed maritime border in rare negotiations," 14 Oct. 2020 That’s why Oklahoma’s third-quarter scoring drive was a de facto game-ending backbreaker. Sam Blum, Dallas News, "Oklahoma outlasts Texas in one of the wildest games in Red River Showdown history," 10 Oct. 2020 Lloyd gave a speech, as did other outspoken Utes, including redshirt junior offensive lineman Nick Ford, Utah’s de facto #WeAreUnited spokesman, and redshirt junior running back TJ Green. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd ready for football after weird, unprecedented offseason," 2 Oct. 2020 And if Jae Crowder remains the Heat’s de facto power forward, then Davis likely will set up shop in the post. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Winderman: Heat-Lakers NBA Finals about the matchups . . . or about LeBron? | Commentary," 28 Sep. 2020 Tenzin Nyima was killed late last month in a mine blast more than 100 miles away, near the Line of Actual Control, the de facto border between India and China. Fahad Shah, The Christian Science Monitor, "For Tibetan refugees, the India-China border rift is personal," 24 Sep. 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 29 Oct. 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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Comments on de facto

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