1 of 2


: a law or ordinance especially in Anglo-Saxon England
: judgment, decision
especially : a judicial condemnation or sentence
: destiny
especially : unhappy destiny
: death, ruin


2 of 2


doomed; dooming; dooms

transitive verb

: to give judgment against : condemn
: to fix the fate of : destine
felt he was doomed to a life of loneliness
: to make certain the failure or destruction of
the scandal doomed her chances for election
Choose the Right Synonym for doom

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 doom in a Sentence

Noun The papers are filled with stories of gloom and doom. the story of a mysterious creature who lures travelers to their doom Verb A criminal record will doom your chances of becoming a politician. the actor felt that he was doomed to be forever remembered for that one terrible performance
Recent Examples on the Web
That being said, this year so far has been not all doom and gloom. Chloe Berger, Fortune, 8 Sep. 2023 The concept of the doom loop took off in the past year on the heels of research from Van Nieuwerburgh. Rachel Siegel, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Sep. 2023 Not all doom and gloom Advocates are working every day to save habitat at a macro level in the US and worldwide. Amy Chillag, CNN, 3 Sep. 2023 Amid the forecasts of imminent marvels and doom, some public schools tried to hit the pause button to give administrators time to catch up. Natasha Singer, New York Times, 24 Aug. 2023 After giving birth, Anna finds herself in an unfamiliar city, consumed by online shopping and doom scrolling. Shannon Carlin, Time, 23 Aug. 2023 Of course, there are maybe only three people in the world who would even get the reference, but anybody can see the image as a representation of impending doom, and that’s definitely the gist of my story. Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker, 28 Aug. 2023 The inconveniences wreaked by continual alarms of imminent doom also did not escape her notice: Panics have been of daily occurrence since my arrival. Richard Byrne, The New Republic, 25 Aug. 2023 England fans did get a reprieve from their decades-long doom loop in 2022, when their women’s team, known affectionately as the Lionesses, won the European Championship at Wembley Stadium against Germany in extra time. Sean Gregory, Time, 18 Aug. 2023
That was the same formula that doomed the Aggies against Appalachian State last season. Grant Gaspard, Dallas News, 7 Sep. 2023 But the medication given to prevent that early immune attack dooms the kidneys in the long run. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 6 Sep. 2023 Angels doomed by bullpen woes and errors in sweeping loss to Athletics Sept. 3, 2023 Ohtani will not pitch again this season after tearing his ulnar collateral ligament last month. Sarah Valenzuela, Los Angeles Times, 5 Sep. 2023 Given these numbers, are dams in Africa doomed to a future of becoming large, crumbling megaliths towering over landscapes bright with electric lights that find their power elsewhere? IEEE Spectrum, 1 Sep. 2023 Courtesy of Anne Marie Fox/Prime Video Maybe A League of Their Own was doomed to strike out. Angela Watercutter, WIRED, 25 Aug. 2023 But, given the amount of time Kupfer spent seeking approvals that never came, his investors weren't willing to wait any longer, dooming the project. Jim Riccioli, Journal Sentinel, 24 Aug. 2023 That’s a label not to be used lightly, residing somewhere between jinxed and doomed as an explanation of never-ending woe. Steve Henson, Los Angeles Times, 30 Aug. 2023 But their ability to cast spells comes with a catch: Their family is cursed, and any man loved by an Owens witch is doomed to death. Claudia Guthrie, ELLE, 28 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'doom.' 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, from Old English dōm; akin to Old High German tuom condition, state, Old English dōn to do

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of doom was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near doom

Cite this Entry

“Doom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a decision made by a court : sentence
: a usually unhappy end


2 of 2 verb
: to set on a fixed course to an unhappy end
the plan was doomed to failure

More from Merriam-Webster on doom

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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