Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Existing in actuality, especially when contrary to or not established by law.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In fact; in reality; actually existing, whether with or without legal or moral right: as, a government or a governor de facto.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • Actually; in fact; in reality.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adverb modal In practice; in actual use or existence, regardless of official or legal status.
  • adjective In fact or in practice; in actual use or existence, regardless of official or legal status. (Often opposed to de jure.)
  • noun Australia, New Zealand A legally undeclared spouse.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adverb in reality or fact
  • adjective existing in fact whether with lawful authority or not

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin dē factō : , from, according to + factō, ablative of factum, fact.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin de facto, de ("from") + ablative of factum ("fact, deed, act")

Examples

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Comments

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  • I just heard someone say “de facto�? in air quotes. That’s discombobulating.

    Edit: Again!

    October 16, 2009