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a fait accompli Formal

Meaning: If something is a fait accompli, it is certain to happen.

For example:

  • We know the judge in this case has been paid off by the defendant, so the verdict is a fait accompli.

  • People are acting as if the result of tomorrow's election is a fait accompli, but do you really think it's already decided?

Origin: "Fait accompli" is one of many French words and phrases that have been "borrowed" by English. A direct translation would be "an accomplished fact".

Quick Quiz:

I think we can say it is a fait accompli that
  1. France will win the next Rugby World Cup
  2. England will not win the next FIFA World Cup
  3. the sun will rise tomorrow

Discuss: a fait accompli

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