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noun \ˈfāt\

Simple Definition of fate

  • : a power that is believed to control what happens in the future

  • : the things that will happen to a person or thing : the future that someone or something will have

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of fate

  1. 1 :  the will or principle or determining cause by which things in general are believed to come to be as they are or events to happen as they do :  destiny

  2. 2 a :  an inevitable and often adverse outcome, condition, or end b :  disaster; especially :  death

  3. 3 a :  final outcome b :  the expected result of normal development <prospective fate of embryonic cells> c :  the circumstances that befall someone or something <did not know the fate of her former classmates>

  4. 4 plural capitalized :  the three goddesses who determine the course of human life in classical mythology

Examples of fate in a sentence

  1. … the —fateof our species is bound up with those of countless others, with which we share a habitat that we cannot long dominate … —John Gray, Times Literary Supplement, 11 Sept. 1992

  2. So what went wrong? I ask Syd again, glancing ahead to the inevitable end. What quirk of fate, this time round, Syd, checked the great man's stride? —John le Carré, A Perfect Spy, 1986

  3. Often there is a specified character on whom a work hinges and whose fate we follow, a Raskolnikov or a Hamlet … —Robert Penn Warren, Democracy and Poetry, 1975

  4. The money goes down one-two-three on the table, fives and tens and twenties, and the wheel begins to spin. Round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows. It's up to fate. Kismet, as they say. —Mordecai Richler, The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz, 1959

  5. They thought they would never see each other again, but fate brought them back together.

  6. a surprising turn of fate

  7. One company went bankrupt, and a similar fate befell the other.

  8. Her fate was sealed by the marriage arrangement made in her youth.

Origin and Etymology of fate

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin fatum, literally, what has been spoken, from neuter of fatus, past participle of fari to speak — more at ban

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of fate

fate, destiny, lot, portion, doom mean a predetermined state or end. fate implies an inevitable and usually an adverse outcome <the fate of the submarine is unknown>. destiny implies something foreordained and often suggests a great or noble course or end <the country's destiny to be a model of liberty to the world>. lot and portion imply a distribution by fate or destiny, lot suggesting blind chance <it was her lot to die childless>, portion implying the apportioning of good and evil <remorse was his daily portion>. doom distinctly implies a grim or calamitous fate <if the rebellion fails, his doom is certain>.



verb \ˈfāt\

Definition of fate



  1. transitive verb
  2. :  destine; also :  doom

Examples of fate in a sentence

  1. Given what was going on when the magazine was started, Utne Reader seems fated to have happened—it was simply an idea that fit the times. —Eric Utne, Utne Reader, March/April 1994

  2. It was during this interregnum between the acquisition of regional power and the actual use of it that Henderson was fated to enter the picture. —Robert D. Kaplan, The Arabists, 1993

  3. Who are my viewing companions at this hour? Dazed and confused, we are isolated in sunken couches, empty beds and cheap hotel rooms across this crumbling nation, one through MTV but fated never to meet. —Hugh Gallagher, Rolling Stone, 29 Apr. 1993

  4. <the warning that the lack of an advanced education will fate a person to a lifetime of below-average earnings>

Origin and Etymology of fate

(see 1fate)

First Known Use: 1601

FATE Defined for Kids


noun \ˈfāt\

Definition of fate for Students

  1. 1 :  a power beyond human control that is believed to determine what happens :  destiny <It was fate that brought them together.>

  2. 2 :  something that happens as though determined by fate :  fortune <She stood … watching the sad fate of her comrades … — L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz>

  3. 3 :  final outcome <Voters will decide the fate of the election.>

Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈfāt\

Medical Definition of fate

  1. :  the expected result of normal development <prospective fate of embryonic cells>

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