fait accompli


fait ac·​com·​pli ˈfā-tə-ˌkäm-ˈplē How to pronounce fait accompli (audio)
ˈfe-ˌta- How to pronounce fait accompli (audio)
 British usually  -ˈkäm-(ˌ)plē
plural faits accomplis ˈfā-tə-ˌkäm-ˈplē(z) How to pronounce fait accompli (audio)
 British usually  -ˈkäm-(ˌ)plē(z)
: 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 changeDaniel 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 Residents say the meetings were unsatisfactory because the company presented the pylons as a fait accompli. Stanley Reed, New York Times, 9 Oct. 2023 So the couple presented him with a fait accompli: in 1601, after four years of courtship, they were secretly married by a priest who was Donne’s friend. Adam Kirsch, The New Yorker, 3 Oct. 2022 But if and when a proposal arrives, its approval is far from a fait accompli. Jesse Wright, Chicago Tribune, 12 Sep. 2023 Pastrnak should cool off, though that’s hardly a fait accompli, but as of this hour his production projects to 64 goals and 155 points. Kevin Paul Dupont, BostonGlobe.com, 30 Oct. 2022 Russia has sought to present the annexation of the four regions as a fait accompli, and the Russian constitution was even rewritten to incorporate them. Mary Ilyushina, Washington Post, 19 Mar. 2023 Philly is about out of runway after the NFC's top seed once seemed a fait accompli ... Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 2 Jan. 2023 The Berries tried to respond in the final quarter with an 8-0 flurry, but the game was a fait accompli. Check out our complete boys football roundup to stay up-to-date on all the action. Indy Star Sports, The Indianapolis Star, 19 Aug. 2023 The more Sweden’s entry seemed a fait accompli, the less leverage Mr. Erdoğan had for extracting concessions. Anna Mulrine Grobe, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fait accompli.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, accomplished fact

First Known Use

1845, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fait accompli was in 1845

Dictionary Entries Near fait accompli

Cite this Entry

“Fait accompli.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fait%20accompli. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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