a fait accompli

FORMAL
This page is about the idiom a fait accompli.

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

a. France will win the next Rugby World Cup

b. England will not win the next FIFA World Cup

c. the sun will rise tomorrow

Idiom of the Day

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Contributor: Matt Errey