after the fact

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after the fact

After an event or situation has already happened. Bob only realized he had been scammed after the fact, when he received a bank statement full of fraudulent charges.
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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.
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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.
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ˌafter the ˈfact

after something has happened or been done when it is too late to prevent it or change it: On some vital decisions employees were only informed after the fact.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Wolf-Parkinson and White Syndrome (WPW) is the most widespread type of pre-excitation syndrome which is associated with an accessory AV connection, called Kent Bundle.
Step 4: In patients with right free-wall accessory pathways, examine lead aVF.
developed an algorithm by analyzing R/S ratios in lead V1, V2 and aVF on ECGs of 142 patients with a single anterogradely conducting accessory pathway.
Instead, there was one index card-sized sign that featured the name of the collection and the price of each coordinating accessory.
The big difference at Bed Bath & Beyond was that the shower curtains and a host of other accessories were organized in a separate adjacent section that happened to be larger than the bath accessory section.
When an accessory was deemed necessary, 75 percent of the consumers polled said they would buy it (41 percent said they would pay up to 20 percent more than they expected); only 16 percent wouldn't buy it.
"Whether it's a cigarette lighter adapter for a cellular phone or a surge suppressor for a computer, each accessory makes that particular product more functional and easier to use," Griffin said.
"This maybe diminishes the perception that the customer has on the value of the product itself, while it really may not be the product at fault--it's just that the customer lacks the proper accessory to enhance its performance," Borinstein said.
New iPhone form factors always provide a short-term boost to traffic and volume to the consumer electronics market, but it s the accessory purchases that keep the momentum going, said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at The NPD Group.
Other accessory categories saw growth, but not near the levels of the protection devices; revenue for mobile power products grew 5 percent, headphones with microphones were up 10 percent, and Bluetooth speakers increased 5 percent.