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
In their place have been dire warnings of doom should the other side prevail. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, Washington Post, 14 July 2024 Whether on Instagram or CNN, analysts (professional and self-appointed) behave like modern-day soothsayers, peering at the tea leaves of polls, social media, video clips and the general zeitgeist to utter words of prophecy and, increasingly, doom. Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times, 5 July 2024
In the near term, the death of Chevron could doom any number of major environmental regulations, including new limits on power plants and auto emissions, per Axios' Ben Geman. Sam Baker, Axios, 17 July 2024 Savannah Kuchar Residency issue doomed Rubio’s VP bid The fact that U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and former President Donald Trump live in the same state ultimately doomed his chance of being the GOP vice presidential pick this year. David Jackson, USA TODAY, 16 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for doom 

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 23 Jul. 2024.

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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