Definition of fait accompli in English:

fait accompli


  • [in singular] A thing that has already happened or been decided before those affected hear about it, leaving them with no option but to accept.

    ‘the results were presented to shareholders as a fait accompli’
    • ‘Many protestors have claimed the closure was already a fait accompli, and yesterday the consultation exercise was branded a sham by some of those opposed to the closure.’
    • ‘It is simply accepted as a fait accompli that the millions who live along the Mekong will suffer time and again from preventable flooding.’
    • ‘However, he said that he had no regrets about bringing the relevant information into the public domain before it was presented to the public as a fait accompli.’
    • ‘At that stage it was still far from a fait accompli, given United's impressive home record which has seen them unbeaten on their own turf since November.’
    • ‘Despite their rhetorical bluster at the rallies, there is every sign that the unions already regard the new legislation as a fait accompli.’
    • ‘So often, we are presented with, as I said, the fait accompli, ‘This is what we are going to do, what do you think about it?’’
    • ‘We feel the proposal has been presented as a fait accompli with no other options provided.’
    • ‘The workforce was thus presented with a fait accompli: either accept a deal with worse conditions or face redundancy.’
    • ‘If they have decided to take military action against you it is a fait accompli.’
    • ‘A union was today pressing for plans to close a York packaging factory to be reversed - while admitting that the decision seemed a fait accompli.’
    • ‘A coup d' état depends upon the predisposition of the people to accept the fait accompli.’
    • ‘John, however, refuses to accept his currently loveless life as a fait accompli.’
    • ‘If the junior colleague has a book in hand or an acceptance letter from the director of the university press, tenure is a fait accompli.’
    • ‘Without banns or a wedding ceremony, he took her for his wife merely by declaring the deed a fait accompli.’
    • ‘It looked like the watergas option was a fait accompli with the Stratford Town Board, until a forward-thinking man stepped into the fray.’
    • ‘Villagers who are investors in the society and relied upon it as their bank claimed they were not consulted about the closure and that it was a fait accompli by the time they learned it was about to happen.’
    • ‘Then in September, they say, district officials presented the no-park plan as a veritable fait accompli.’
    • ‘At the eleventh hour, I realized that something that all the commentators had referred to as if it were a fait accompli was actually very much up in the air.’
    • ‘Instead, he presented the program as a fait accompli, and as a strong leader his demands for loyalty drowned out any voices arguing for debate or amendment.’
    • ‘Indeed, many of the staff and students feel that they haven't been consulted adequately in an appraisal that has been presented as a fait accompli.’


Mid 19th century: from French, literally accomplished fact.


fait accompli

/ˌfād əkämˈplē//ˌfed əkämˈplē/