fait accompli

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

Legislators believed a raise was a fait accompli, but appointees of Gov. Andrew Cuomo adjourned the commission without acting. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "Commission Mulls Raises for Cuomo and New York Lawmakers," 20 Nov. 2018 Many nations still felt that Mr. Kim, who was born in South Korea but raised in the U.S., was presented as an American fait accompli, not the result of an open process. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, "The U.S. Has Always Chosen World Bank Presidents—Will It This Time?," 8 Jan. 2019 Uber presented the sale of its operations to Grab, its chief rival in the region, as a fait accompli. New York Times, "Uber’s Exit From Southeast Asia Upsets Regulators and Drivers," 28 May 2018 Presidential summits are always preprogrammed, down to the devilish details and await only the signature on a fait accompli. I. William Zartman, WSJ, "Kim Jong Un and the Art of the Asian Deal," 24 June 2018 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

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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Dictionary Entries near fait accompli

Faisal II



fait accompli


faith cure


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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

formal : something that has been done and cannot be changed

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


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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