Being such in practice or effect, although not formally recognized; actual.
Although there was never a general declaration of war, the two countries were in a de facto state of war for almost a decade.
Literally meaning "from the fact," de facto in English is applied to whatever has the substance of something but not the formal name. A de facto government is one that operates with all of the power of a regular government, but without the official recognition. De facto segregation does not stem from any legislative order, but it is just as real and deep-rooted as segregation that has been authorized by law.