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Volte-face

[volt-fahs, vohlt-; Fr. vawltuh-fas]
Volte-face (vôlt-fäs', vôl'tə-) is a total change of position, as in policy or opinion; an about-face.

The expression comes through French, from Italian voltafaccia and Portuguese volte face, composed of volta (turn) and faccia (face).

Volte-faces in diplomacy

Volte-faces in business

  • A famous volte-face within business was when Coca-Cola announced New Coke, which was to replace their main product with one containing a different formula. After public backlash, Coca-Cola pulled New Coke and returned to the original.
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