follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

volte-face

[volt-fahs, vohlt-; French vawltuh-fas] /vɒltˈfɑs, voʊlt-; French vɔltəˈfas/
noun, plural volte-face.
1.
a turnabout, especially a reversal of opinion or policy.
Origin
1810-1820
1810-20; < French < Italian voltafaccia, equivalent to volta turn (see volt2) + faccia face
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for volte face

volte-face

/ˈvɒltˈfɑːs/
noun (pl) volte-face
1.
a reversal, as in opinion or policy
2.
a change of position so as to look, lie, etc, in the opposite direction
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Italian volta-faccia, from volta a turn + faccia face
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for volte face

volte-face

a reversal of opinion, 1819, French, from Italian volta faccia, literally "turn face," from volta, imper. of voltare "to turn" (from Vulgar Latin *volvita, from Latin volvere "to roll;" see volvox) + faccia (see face).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for volte-face

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for volte

8
10
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with volte face