after the fact

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after the fact

after something has happened; after something, such as a crime, has taken place. (Originally a legal phrase.) John is always making excuses after the fact.
See also: after, fact

after the fact

After an actual occurrence, particularly after a crime. For example, I know the brakes should have been repaired, but that doesn't help much after the fact . The use of fact for a crime dates from the first half of the 1500s. The word became standard in British law and is still used in this way today. The idiom was first recorded in 1769 in the phrase accessories after the fact, referring to persons who assist a lawbreaker after a crime has been committed. Now it is also used more loosely, as in the example above.
See also: after, fact
References in periodicals archive ?
For more accessory instruction, rent a video of ``The Talented Mr.
The Accessory Lady stores will be operated, under the Accessory Lady name, by the specialty store division of F.
The popularity of exterior protection accessories among truck owners and the increasing participation of the OEMs in truck accessory programs has resulted in new truck models that are regarded as 'more customizable' than older models from the 1990s.
Grand Prairie Accessory Services is located in Grand Prairie, Texas and employs approximately 90 people.
Optional accessories available for purchase with the SE420: 9" (23cm) cable; Push-To-Hear (PTH) accessory.
Digital Still Camera and Camcorder Accessory Owner Survey, contains results from a top-level study of U.
Companies represented in this initial group of accessory manufacturers are Altec Lansing, DLO (Digital Lifestyle Outfitters), Griffin Technology, HandStands, Macally Peripherals, Maximo Products and Speck Products.
In fact, an automotive part or accessory is sold on eBay every second.
The massive growth in the MP3 accessory market has expanded the selection of products at high and low price points, from protective cases and flashing headphones priced under $30, to advanced speaker systems like the Bose SoundDock at $249.
Product & Lifestyle Categories on Display: Digital Media (RealNetworks, Atari, JAMDAT); Home Decor (Wine Things Unlimited, Kurt Adler, Winning Solutions, Tokens and Coins, Department 56); Apparel/Accessories (Wish Licensing, MJC, Accessory Network, Colibri, Freeze, Sintrex Ltd.