"So much preparation had gone into the diplomatic date that a US-India dalliance at the end of it was a foregone conclusion."

Does foregone conclusion mean that a US-India dalliance was not conceivable?

The issue was with the connotation of the word 'dalliance' instead of 'foregone conclusion'. As clarified by David below, dalliance here means a diplomatic 'relationship' as opposed to the word's denotation: The deliberate act of delaying and playing instead of working.

Thanks for the help!

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    foregone conclusion: "noun [singular] a result that you can be certain about before it happens". – Damkerng T. Apr 4 '15 at 11:45
  • This question can be answered with a simple online search, e.g., define foregone conclusion and so is off-topic for this site. – Jim Reynolds Apr 4 '15 at 12:54
  • Thank you for the ref. @DamkerngT. I was looking for the words individually. Nevertheless, the meaning in the context is still not clear to me. If there has been a lot of preparation for the diplomatic date (meeting), then why will there be a dalliance? – Vaibhav Apr 4 '15 at 13:42
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    @Vaibhav [T]hen why will there be a dalliance? The sentence already assumes that the dalliance would have been inevitable. The diplomatic date had already been there, and its ending was so clear (as if it was something foregone). Think of it as a relationship that came after a date. – Damkerng T. Apr 4 '15 at 15:09
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    Please indicate what research you have done to determine the meaning of the word dalliance, and explain why a question remains. It means, in this context, a brief or casual involvement, a brief, casual, not-serious relationship, etc., as can be gleaned from looking at a few dictionaries. – Jim Reynolds Apr 5 '15 at 6:14

"Inconceivable" and "foregone conclusion" are nearly polar opposites.

"Inconceivable" means the notion is so remote that it is virtually impossible to think of a reasonable scenario wherein it might have been cogitated spontaneously. On the other hand, a "foregone conclusion" means a given result was inevitable given a certain set of circumstances.

An example of the former might be a ball held in someone's hand traveling upward when released. The notion of gravity makes that "inconceivable." In contrast, an example of the latter might be the same ball held in one's hand hitting the ground when released. It's a foregone conclusion that gravity will cause the ball to hit the ground if it is released.

In the context of the provided writing, the depth of preparation for the diplomatic date implied the subsequent diplomatic dalliance. It should not be inferred that such a dalliance was inconceivable outside the "preparation."

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  • What does 'US-India Dalliance' mean here? The denotation of dalliance is: 'deliberate act of delaying.. ' which doesn't fit the context well. What is being delayed? – Vaibhav Apr 4 '15 at 17:19
  • I was not aware of that interpretation of "dalliance." I have always used/understood it to mean a relationship, often temporary, and typically in an amorous or romantic context. I think, in that vein, the use here is to convey the inherently cautious, hedging nature of most diplomatic relationships. Does that help clarify the interpretation here? – David W Apr 4 '15 at 17:46
  • Yes, it does. It is strange that the dictionary presents the meaning (for dalliance) that isn't generally used. Thanks! – Vaibhav Apr 4 '15 at 17:50

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