Even though the phrase “ipso facto” sounds like a mysterious incantation from a Fantasy novel, it’s actually a Latin term we use in the English language to convey a certain meaning. So, to better understand it, read on as I explain the definition and roots of where it came from and show you how to use it in sentences.
Meaning of Ipso Facto
“Ipso facto” is considered an adverb, but it’s also a Latin phrase that simply translates to “by the fact itself” or “by that very fact” in English. Its purpose is to indicate when something is true or happens as a direct consequence of a certain action or condition. In other words, “ipso facto” is supposed to emphasize how a specific result is an inevitable outcome.
What’s a good example? How about reading? It’s a simple example, but the fact that I wholly read fantasy romance means I usually automatically love any fantasy romance that comes across my desk. So, if you were to give me a fantasy romance book, I would ipso facto love it.
Origin of Ipso Facto
This strange term comes from Latin origins; we already established that. But to get more specific, it’s a combo of two words—”ipso,” which translates to “by the same,” and “facto,” which means “fact.” Put that together, and you get “by the same fact.”
Today, we use it (not very common) to describe the immediate consequences of certain actions, but it’s mostly reserved for legal and philosophical areas. And, as a loanword, you don’t have to italicize it unless you wish to put emphasis on the word in whatever you’re writing.
Ipso Facto Synonyms
It’s weird, I know, so if you don’t like using it, try any one of these synonyms instead. They should work in the same contexts as ipso facto would.
- By the very nature of the situation
- As a direct result
- By that very fact
Using Ipso Facto in a Sentence
Sometimes, seeing a strange word or phrase within a full sentence can help you understand how it’s meant to be used, so here are a few scenarios to get you started.
- The defendant’s blatant confession ipso facto proves his guilt in the crime against the state.
- Since the company failed to meet any of its sales targets, the employees were ipso facto denied their bonuses, and my husband was laid off.
- Since he failed to complete the assignment on time, the math student ipso facto received a lower grade than he was expecting.
- In a not-too-distant dystopian future, the law is deemed unconstitutional, and ipso facto, it is no longer enforceable.
- But the suspect was clearly out of town during the crime, so he’s ipso facto innocent of the charges against him.
English Is Awesome!
Ipso facto is just another tool in your grammar arsenal. Now that you know its meaning and understand how to use it in a sentence, you can work it into conversations and even weave it into some writing. But since it’s more or less a legal term, feel free to utilize any of the synonyms I provided instead.