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.
See also: after, fact
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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.
See also: after, fact
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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