fa·​tal·​ism | \ ˈfā-tə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce fatalism (audio) \

Definition of fatalism

: a doctrine that events are fixed in advance so that human beings are powerless to change them also : a belief in or attitude determined by this doctrine fatalism that regards social problems as simply inevitable

Other Words from fatalism

fatalist \ ˈfā-​tə-​list How to pronounce fatalism (audio) \ noun
fatalistic \ ˌfā-​tə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce fatalism (audio) \ adjective
fatalistically \ ˌfā-​tə-​ˈli-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce fatalism (audio) \ adverb

Examples of fatalism in a Sentence

Many people seem to have developed a sense of fatalism about the war.
Recent Examples on the Web The strain of rebuilding the practice has depleted Ms. Shoen’s emotional reserves at times without plunging her into fatalism. Martin Kuz, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 Oct. 2021 More generally, if history is one long catastrophe returning in new guises, the work of historical reckoning can pass into a transhistorical fatalism. Ben Lerner, The New York Review of Books, 25 Feb. 2021 Plant doesn’t share that sense of fatalism, obviously. Dylan Hernández Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 6 Nov. 2021 The operation’s success was the result of many factors: serious security failures by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, extensive planning and surveillance by the Mossad, and an insouciance bordering on fatalism on the part of Mr. Fakhrizadeh. New York Times, 18 Sep. 2021 The new challenge, then, is to capture the feeling of our predicament, along with its facts: not merely to convince people, but to galvanize them out of despair or fatalism. David S. Wallace, The New Yorker, 15 Sep. 2021 But there’s also a moral component, and that is: What actually dislodges us from fatalism? David Marchesephotograph By Mamadi Doumbouya, New York Times, 3 Sep. 2021 O’Connor grew up in 1970s Dublin, and her early life is threaded with the lyricism, fatalism and horror that mark many Irish memoirists, from Frank McCourt to Nuala O’Faolain, creating an inextricable knot of love and hate for her homeland. Los Angeles Times, 2 June 2021 Some liken it to a Russian stoicism, or fatalism, or the lack of an alternative to keeping the economy running given minimal aid from the state. New York Times, 10 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fatalism.' 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 fatalism

1678, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of fatalism was in 1678

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Last Updated

23 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fatalism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fatalism. Accessed 3 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for fatalism



English Language Learners Definition of fatalism

: the belief that what will happen has already been decided and cannot be changed

More from Merriam-Webster on fatalism

Nglish: Translation of fatalism for Spanish Speakers


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