fait accompli, a

fait accompli

A decision that has already been made or something that has already been accomplished or completed. The decision by the CEO to close 50 of the company's stores came as a fait accompli to the rest of the management team, who were powerless to stop it. Failing this class is not a fait accompli—you have the ability to study and bring up your grade!
See also: accompli, fait

a ˌfait accomˈpli

(from French) something that has already happened or been done and that you cannot change: We got married secretly and then presented our parents with a fait accompli.
See also: accompli, fait

fait accompli, a

A deed or action already completed. The term is French for “accomplished action” and was adopted into English in the early nineteenth century. The French critic Nicolas Boileau, exponent of the classical style, may have been one of the first to popularize the term in French, in his treatise L’Art poétique (1674), expounding the classic unities of drama: “Qu’en un lieu, qu’en un jour, un seul fait accompli tienne jusqu’ à la fin le théâtre rempli” (One place, one time, one single action will keep the audience in the theater to the end).
See also: fait