Volte-face meaning

vôlt-fäs, vôltə-
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A complete reversal of opinion, attitude, etc.
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A reversal, as in policy; an about-face.
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A turn so as to face the opposite way; about-face.
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A dramatic change in mood or tone, commonly in poetry.

Shakespeare often used volte faces in the rhyming couplets at the end of his sonnets.

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Origin of volte-face

  • French from Italian voltafaccia volta (from voltare to turn vault2) faccia face (from Vulgar Latin facia face)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From the Latin meaning literally about face.

    From Wiktionary

  • From Wiktionary