Definition of before (or after) the fact in English:

before (or after) the fact


  • Before (or after) the committing of a crime.

    ‘an accessory before the fact’
    • ‘Whenever an instrument tells a lie about some alleged past fact it purports to be made after the fact occurred.’
    • ‘Families often learn several days after the fact that their relative was a suicide bomber.’
    • ‘The more open they are, the less likely they are to wind up indicted for crimes after the fact.’
    • ‘Yet when doing so they always sought congressional authority, even if after the fact.’
    • ‘Why does the department cover up for the chief assassin of its officers thirty years after the fact?’
    • ‘He conceded that the publication of secret information could be punished after the fact.’
    • ‘The plaintiffs did not authorize many specific transactions but were aware of them after the fact.’
    • ‘David had been found out and his explanation is after the fact rationalization to put the best face forward on the matter.’
    • ‘All those, although very crucial to crime prevention, are before the fact.’
    • ‘First, the photographer snapped it while the lynching was in progress and not after the fact.’
    event, happening, occurrence, incident, act, deed
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