des·​ti·​ny | \ ˈde-stə-nē How to pronounce destiny (audio) \
plural destinies

Definition of destiny

1 : something to which a person or thing is destined : fortune wants to control his own destiny
2 : a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency felt that destiny would determine their future

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Choose the Right Synonym for destiny

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

Examples of destiny in a Sentence

They believed it was their destiny to be together. motivated by a sense of destiny
Recent Examples on the Web In somber voiceover that spells out every last ounce of subtext, Jahkor considers the ways in which J.D. shaped his destiny, but also the entire generations of men — brothers, uncles, cousins — living out the same story, stuck on repeat. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'All Day and a Night': Film Review," 30 Apr. 2020 Your destiny does not hinge on adding another item to your to-do list. Alisha Tillery, Essence, "Are We Being Crushed by Productivity Culture?," 28 Apr. 2020 Apple can choose its own destiny instead of assembling puzzle pieces from other vendors. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Google wants to dump Qualcomm, launch smartphone SoC as early as next year," 14 Apr. 2020 John Cromwell’s 1940 screen version of Robert E. Sherwood Pulitzer-winning play presents the future president, played by Raymond Massey, as filled with doubts but sensing his destiny. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "‘Abe Lincoln in Illinois’ Review: Perfectly Cast for Perilous Times," 19 Mar. 2020 This is the appeal of the Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) movement, whose disciples range from college kids to Google engineers, unified in their aim to save at least 50% of their income to reclaim their retirement destiny. Khe Hy, Quartz, "The one number that determines if you can retire today," 3 Mar. 2020 By drawing out the pricklier and more complex character that Austen originally wrote, de Wilde confirms her potency as a woman in charge of her destiny. Raisa Bruner, Time, "How the New Emma Movie Updates the Relationship at Its Core," 24 Feb. 2020 What has always been so curious in writing about Johnson is the sense of destiny that has attached itself to him through his life. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, "A Recovered Boris Johnson Can Remake Britain Again," 12 Apr. 2020 His admiration for Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher springs from this worldview; so did his decision to reject the belief widespread in the establishment that Britain’s destiny lay in the European Union and to lead the country out of it. The Economist, "Bagehot Boris Johnson’s illness has darkened Britain’s mood," 8 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'destiny.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of destiny

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for destiny

Middle English destinee, from Anglo-French, from feminine of destiné, past participle of destiner — see destine

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Time Traveler for destiny

Time Traveler

The first known use of destiny was in the 14th century

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Statistics for destiny

Last Updated

4 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Destiny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for destiny


How to pronounce destiny (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of destiny

: what happens in the future : the things that someone or something will experience in the future
: a power that is believed to control what happens in the future


des·​ti·​ny | \ ˈde-stə-nē How to pronounce destiny (audio) \
plural destinies

Kids Definition of destiny

1 : what happens to someone or something in the future You can decide your own destiny.
2 : the course of events believed to be controlled by a superhuman power
3 : a power that is believed to control the future

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More from Merriam-Webster on destiny

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for destiny

Spanish Central: Translation of destiny

Nglish: Translation of destiny for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of destiny for Arabic Speakers

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