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Volte-face (/vɒltˈfɑːs/ or /vltˈfɑːs/) 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).

In the context of politics a volte-face is, in modern English, often referred to as a U-turn or a flip-flop in the UK and the US respectively.

In politics

In diplomacy

In business

  • New Coke replaced Coca-Cola's main product with one containing a different formula. After a public backlash, Coca-Cola reintroduced the original formulation.


  1. Klein, Naomi (2007) The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. New York: Picador. ISBN 978-0-312-42799-3.