foregone conclusion, a

Idioms & Phrases

foregone conclusion, a

  1. An outcome regarded as inevitable, as in The victory was a foregone conclusion.

  2. A conclusion formed in advance of argument or consideration, as in The jury was warned to consider all of the evidence and not base their decision on a foregone conclusion. This idiom probably was invented by Shakespeare (Othello, 3:3) but scholars are not agreed as to his precise meaning. [c. 1600]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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