Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ



Apr 6, 2011
This week's theme
Words borrowed from French

This week's words
soubrette
beau geste
volte-face
entrepot
gris-gris

The gift of words
Send a gift subscription
In less than a minute!
Discuss
Feedback
RSS/XML
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

volte-face

PRONUNCIATION:
(volt-FAHS)

MEANING:
noun: A reversal in policy or opinion; about-face.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French, from Italian voltafaccia, from voltare (to turn), from Vulgar Latin volvitare, frequentative of Latin volvere (to turn) + faccia (face). Earliest documented use: 1819.

USAGE:
"The possibility of a flotation was a remarkable volte-face for Standard Life."
Carmel Crimmins; Standard Life Pays Its Former Chief More Than £1m; Irish Examiner (Cork, Ireland); Mar 1, 2004.

"Not too long after the panels indicted the former Senate President, the Senate made a volte-face on its action, dumped the documents, and cleared those indicted of any wrongdoing!"
Senate and Unending Bribery Scandals; Daily Times (Lagos, Nigeria); Feb 19, 2004.

See more usage examples of volte-face in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
An individual human existence should be like a river: small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being. -Bertrand Russell, philosopher, mathematician, author, Nobel laureate (1872-1970)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere

Donate

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2018 Wordsmith