fait accompli

fait ac·​com·​pli | \ ˈfā-tə-ˌkäm-ˈplē How to pronounce fait accompli (audio) , ˈfe-, ˈfe-ˌta- How to pronounce fait accompli (audio) , -ˌkōⁿ(m)-, British usually -ˈkäm-(ˌ)plē \
plural faits accomplis\ ˈfā-​tə-​ˌkäm-​ˈplē(z) How to pronounce fait accompli (audio) , ˈfe-​ , ˈfe-​ˌta-​ , -​ˌkōⁿ(m)-​ , British usually  -​ˈkäm-​(ˌ)plē(z) \

Definition of fait accompli

: a thing accomplished and presumably irreversible he charged that the members were presented with a fait accompli instead of being called to a meeting to discuss the policy change— Daniel Thomases

Examples of fait accompli in a Sentence

By the time we learned about the decision, it was already a fait accompli.
Recent Examples on the Web While Al Sadhan has 30 days to appeal his sentence, absent pressure from Western governments (which has so far been meager), his prison term is likely a fait accompli. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "Twitter Is Enabling Saudi Arabia’s Brutal Crackdown on Dissent," 9 Apr. 2021 Those comments imply that U.S. officials see the pipeline as a fait accompli. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "State Department suggests US can’t thwart ‘virtually complete’ Russian gas pipeline to Germany," 11 Mar. 2021 Under plausible conditions, both adversaries could act quickly in Taiwan or the Baltic states to achieve a fait accompli that would be difficult, if not impossible, to reverse. Kathryn Wheelbarger And Dustin Walker, WSJ, "Iran Isn’t Afraid of B-52s and Aircraft Carriers," 21 Dec. 2020 And the Republican leader of one of the Legislature's chambers says the results are a fait accompli. Andrew Oxford, The Arizona Republic, "In Arizona, it is seemingly impossible for the Legislature to alter the election outcome," 21 Nov. 2020 Yet China still lacks the ability to wage its ideal military campaign on Taiwan: a swift, overwhelming attack and successful amphibious landing invasion that would present the world with a fait accompli. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, "U.S., China, Taiwan: Why the tense status quo may stick – for now," 12 Nov. 2020 Trump has shown no signs of reneging on his claims that the election was stolen, but outside his campaign, a Biden victory has been accepted as a fait accompli. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, "The Capital Note: Stocks Surge on Vaccine Announcement," 9 Nov. 2020 Nor would the winner of ruby red Idaho’s four electoral votes, a fait accompli even at this early hour. Maria L. La Ganga Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "In Idaho, Democrats try to hold on to hope beyond their ruby red state," 3 Nov. 2020 It’s not even fait accompli that the Giants will tender contracts this winter to Solano and Dickerson, who are eligible for salary arbitration. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants Splash: 2020 proved team still can win while waiting for next ‘dynasty’," 7 Oct. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of fait accompli

1845, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fait accompli

French, accomplished fact

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fait accompli

Time Traveler for fait accompli

Time Traveler

The first known use of fait accompli was in 1845

See more words from the same year

Statistics for fait accompli

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fait accompli.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fait%20accompli. Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fait accompli

fait accompli


English Language Learners Definition of fait accompli

formal : something that has been done and cannot be changed

Comments on fait accompli

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


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!