fait accompli

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

Infinity War,’’ made the record-setting weekend something of a fait accompli. Jake Coyle, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Infinity War’ opens with record $250m, passing ‘Star Wars’," 29 Apr. 2018 Unlike in October, Trump’s Cabinet put up little resistance to a decision many viewed as a fait accompli, given the president’s March firing of two key Iran deal defenders. ... James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Primary results confirm 2018 is a terrible year to be a House Republican," 9 May 2018 The Space Force is, of course, not a fait accompli. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "The New Arms Race Threatening to Explode in Space," 26 June 2018 Everything from that point forward felt like a fait accompli. Gideon Lewis-kraus, WIRED, "The Blockchain: A Love Story—And a Horror Story," 18 June 2018 This is not a fait accompli; American sea power can be restored. Seth Cropsey, WSJ, "America Can’t Afford to Cede the Seas," 14 May 2018 Harvey’s Mets obit, courtesy of The Ringer, included this: His performance in recent years — a terrible 2016, an abysmal 2017, and a desultory 2018 — has seemed a fait accompli. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc: Is who the Reds have now better than who they've dumped?," 8 May 2018 But failure was a fait accompli against Mexican foes. Brian Straus, SI.com, "Toronto FC Cultivates Winning Formula to Put Club on Cusp of Historic CCL Title," 17 Apr. 2018 Kim Jung-un concluded that the eight years of the Obama administration provided a rare golden moment to vastly expand its nuclear and missile capability — and then announce it as an irrevocable fait accompli after Obama left office. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "President Nobama," 16 Jan. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of fait accompli

1845, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fait accompli

French, accomplished fact

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Faisal II



fait accompli


faith cure


Statistics for fait accompli

Last Updated

18 Aug 2018

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The first known use of fait accompli was in 1845

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fait accompli


English Language Learners Definition of fait accompli

: something that has been done and cannot be changed

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to make amends

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