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 Five young dragons are prophesied to bring peace to the land — Clay, Tsunami, Glory, Starflight, and Sunny — otherwise known as the Dragonets of destiny. Nick Romano,, "Ava DuVernay is making an animated Netflix series based on the Wings of Fire kids books," 20 Apr. 2021 Without that opening on to a future (and, as yet, mysterious) destiny, what begins as a local victory for justice becomes, in its turn, yet another form of domination, another occasion for challenge and struggle…. Matthew Sitman, The New Republic, "Whither the Religious Left?," 15 Apr. 2021 Shori is the archetypal hybrid of destiny: confused, persecuted, yet ultimately more powerful than the monoracials. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, "How Octavia E. Butler Reimagines Sex and Survival," 8 Mar. 2021 But the soft power of the alliance—the human contacts, the mutual understanding between societies, the sense of common destiny—is significantly weaker than the bonds that tie America to other allies like the U.K. and Israel. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Tokyo Flexes Its Talons," 19 Apr. 2021 Its plot, when pared down to a Wikipedia-level summary, reads as nihilistic commentary on our species’ destiny. Reid Mccarter, Wired, "Outriders Is Grinning Through the Apocalypse," 10 Apr. 2021 Heightened popularity can be yours in late September and early October, when a meeting could change your destiny or a fabulous vacation with a loved one could fulfill your dreams. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for April 6, 2021: Taurus, avoid yielding to peer pressure; Aquarius, make your own choices," 6 Apr. 2021 A year and a half later, what feels like destiny continues to wrap Cronin in a warm embrace. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "UCLA reminded of John Wooden’s legacy ahead of Final Four showdown with Gonzaga," 2 Apr. 2021 It’s where refugees from the Mexican Revolution landed at the turn of the last century, changing the course of San Antonio’s destiny. Elaine Ayala Commentary, San Antonio Express-News, "Ayala: Proponents of West Side historic district have passion, history on their side," 1 Apr. 2021

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

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Destiny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for destiny



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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