des·​ti·​ny ˈde-stə-nē How to pronounce destiny (audio)
plural destinies
: something to which a person or thing is destined : fortune
wants to control his own destiny
: a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency
felt that destiny would determine their future
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 That’s why working on American Horror Story with Ryan is a destiny. Ariana Quihuiz, Peoplemag, 20 Sep. 2023 But the obvious person to consult would have been a native son of Los Angeles who saw geography as destiny, who specialized in snakes of all stripes, and whose characters find, in natural disasters, their only competitors in the making of mayhem. Parul Sehgal, The New Yorker, 11 Sep. 2023 Astrology is based on the Babylonian belief that the movements of planets significantly affect human life and destiny. Jon Stojan, USA TODAY, 6 Sep. 2023 But Friday night, the team took matters into its own hands and put itself in control of its destiny. Lia Assimakopoulos, Dallas News, 16 Sep. 2023 Most people who know me thought that was my destiny. John Benson, cleveland, 6 Sep. 2023 Progress was the core of our identity as a species, our singular destiny. Jonathan Dee, The New Yorker, 4 Sep. 2023 The Jaguars, meanwhile, have their destiny firmly in the grasp of Trevor Lawrence, who will be entering his third NFL season fresh off his first Pro Bowl nod. Victoria Hernandez, USA TODAY, 7 Sep. 2023 This three-game series in Toronto present a chance for the Rangers to control their own destiny. Shawn McFarland, Dallas News, 6 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'destiny.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near destiny

Cite this Entry

“Destiny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


des·​ti·​ny ˈdes-tə-nē How to pronounce destiny (audio)
plural destinies
: something to which a person or thing is destined : fortune
: the course of events held to be arranged by a superhuman power

More from Merriam-Webster on destiny

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