V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary

ex post facto

adverb, adjective

Definition: applying to and affecting things that are in the past

Synonyms: retroactive(ly), retrospective(ly), afterward

Antonyms: prospective, forthcoming, upcoming

Tips: Ex post facto is Latin for "from what is done afterwards." Ex post facto is a more highbrow way of saying "retroactive," and is usually used as an adverb, since it describes actions. If you do something ex post facto, you apply something today to something that has already taken place. Ex post facto can also be applied to things that have yet to come, or subsequently, but the ex post facto will still come later. For example, "I'm going to a birthday party tonight, and tomorrow I'll buy a gift ex post facto." (The party is in the future, and the ex post facto will happen subsequently.)

Usage Examples:

The University's new policy on the number of units needed to graduate will apply ex post facto for those students already enrolled this year. (retroactively) adverb

The new tax law was done ex post facto, so people had to retroactively pay higher taxes than what they thought they would have to pay at the beginning of the year. (retroactively, afterward) adverb

When you look at their marriage ex post facto, it's clear it was doomed from the beginning. (subsequently, later in time) adverb

Hindsight is 20/20; you can't go back and analyze everything ex post facto. (retroactively, afterward) adverb

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