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IPSO (IHP-soh)

Ipso facto: By the fact itself
Common clues:
____ facto; Facto front?; Itself (Latin)
Crossword puzzle frequency: 3 times a year

Ipso facto is a Latin phrase, directly translated as by the fact itself. It is a term of art used in philosophy and law.

In law, this phrase is frequently employed to convey the idea that something which has been done contrary to law is void. For example, if a married man, during the life of his wife, of which he had knowledge, should marry another woman, the latter marriage would be void ipso facto; that is, on that fact being proved, the second marriage would be declared void ab initio.

Aside from its technical uses, it occurs frequently in literature, particularly in scholarly addenda: e.g., "Faustus had signed his life away, and was, ipso facto, incapable of repentance." (re: Marlowe, Dr. Faustus.)

Ipso facto can be used in a religious context to denote an individual guilty of specified actions considered unlawful by a committee resulting in removal of membership from said religious body. Dismissal ipso facto is automatic in these type of cases.

Within the Catholic Faith; apostasy can result in such an ipso facto discharge. Dismissal ipso facto is a legitimate means utilized by a religious body to insulate itself from what it deems as destructive conduct.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ipso facto".