volte face

What is the meaning of "volte-face"?

By Cliff, Kansas City, USA (17th Dec.2006)

It is very common to hear politicians say one thing one day and on the very next day say the exact opposite. This is what we mean by a volte-face. To say the exact opposite; to do a complete turnaround. It's a total change in one's attitude towards something or someone.

Here are a few examples.

* The Chairman's speech represents a complete volte-face in company thinking.

* Some of the Ministers didn't go along with the party's volte-face on education.

By the way, the "o" in "volte" is like the "o" in "hot", "pot", and "not". Some people pronounce it like the "o" in "go", "so", and "no". The "a" in "face" is like the "a" in "bath" and "path" and the main stress is on "face". The final "e" in both the words is silent.

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