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

Example Sentences

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
Not everyone is crying over the doom loop, which has brought down real estate prices from mind-numbingly astronomical to a hair above unaffordable. Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2023 Others suspected the doom loop might usher in a cultural and demographic shift. Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 May 2023 While local news outlets nationwide continue to be shuttered or hollowed out by corporate owners, the landscape in Massachusetts isn’t all doom and gloom. Globe Staff,, 21 Apr. 2023 Giving employees more pension flexibility and increasing efficiency in government could prevent an urban doom loop. Jordan Mcgillis, National Review, 12 Apr. 2023 Layoffs that followed at companies like Twitter or Goldman Sachs added to the fear, but that doesn’t mean all is doom and gloom. Chloe Berger, Fortune, 22 Mar. 2023 Certainly New York has survived many crises, including the doom loop of the seventies—although the city was so weakened by that experience that Mayor Ed Koch, desperate to keep sports teams from fleeing, gave Madison Square Garden that free pass on city property taxes. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, 6 Mar. 2023 Recovering doom scrollers delete the social media apps from their phones. Time, 29 Dec. 2022 Against all odds and doom and gloom scenarios, Ukraine did not fall. Quartz, 22 Dec. 2022
Mandates invariably result in losing top talent Nicholas Bloom, economics professor at Stanford and cofounder of WFH Research, told Fortune last year that any kind of compulsory office return is doomed to result in losing skilled workers. Jane Thier, Fortune, 25 May 2023 For a while, the Lakers seemed doomed because of roster issues and injuries to their stars, James and Anthony Davis. Tania Ganguli, New York Times, 22 May 2023 Paramount’s lawyers filed a motion on Monday, arguing that the suit is doomed to fail for a host of reasons. Gene Maddaus, Variety, 5 May 2023 Written and performed like a tender indie love song, the new track details a relationship that appears doomed to fail — but the person at fault is in question. Stephen Daw, Billboard, 5 May 2023 There’s nothing more romantic than a love affair that everyone knows is doomed from the start. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 4 May 2023 Those who argue that the GOP is doomed post-Roe forget that Republicans won a majority of the House popular vote last year. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 22 Apr. 2023 Any relationship built on the foundation of receiving more than giving is doomed from the beginning. Mark Travers, Forbes, 26 Mar. 2023 And while not all rebound relationships are doomed, seeing someone who's actively getting over someone else is a risky roll of the dating dice. Megan Schaltegger, Women's Health, 24 Mar. 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 1 Jun. 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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