fa·​tal·​i·​ty | \ fā-ˈta-lə-tē How to pronounce fatality (audio) , fə-\
plural fatalities

Definition of fatality

1a : the quality or state of causing death or destruction
b : the quality or condition of being destined for disaster
2 : something established by fate
4 : the agent or agency of fate
5a : death resulting from a disaster
b : one that experiences a fatal outcome

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Synonyms for fatality


casualty, loss, prey, victim

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Examples of fatality in a Sentence

The car crash caused one fatality and several serious injuries. the grim reminder that every holiday weekend inevitably results in a slew of highway fatalities

Recent Examples on the Web

The death marks the city’s 36th traffic fatality of the year and the second this week within the San Jose Police Department’s jurisdiction. Jason Green, The Mercury News, "San Jose: Pedestrian dies after being hit by car," 13 Sep. 2019 Moeller’s death marks the 36th traffic related fatality on Portland streets, according to the metric used by police. oregonlive.com, "Portland woman with 2 DUII convictions charged with manslaughter, DUII following fatal crash," 19 Aug. 2019 By midafternoon, temperatures had soared to 108 degrees, and the encampment had its first fatality: Caesar, the pit bull. Los Angeles Times, "Broadway Place’s homeless residents were promised homes. Had the city forgotten them?," 15 Aug. 2019 Phoenix and Luna Rodriguez are the 22nd and 23rd fatalities of 2019. Tiffany Cusaac-smith, USA TODAY, "Dozens gather to mourn twin toddlers who died in hot car," 2 Aug. 2019 Update to July 4th Hit and Run fatality of Parker resident, Chuck Vogel: An arrest has been made. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, "Suspected driver arrested in connection with hit-and-run that killed Parker bicyclist on July 4," 17 July 2019 According to the National Weather Service, Lee’s death, if confirmed to have been caused by lightning, would be just the second lightning fatality of 2019. Jeff Weiner, orlandosentinel.com, "Motorcyclist killed by lightning strike on I-95 identified," 11 June 2019 Though sad and sickening, these sorts of attacks are exceptionally rare; in Washington, this is only the second recorded puma-related fatality in the last 94 years. National Geographic, "Cougar That Killed Cyclist Was Underweight, Likely Desperate," 21 May 2018 Five fatalities of horses being hit by cars since April along Bush Highway, three of them within the past week, have prompted new safety measures to warn drivers. Bayan Wang, azcentral, "Deaths of Salt River horses along Bush Highway lead to new safety measures," 19 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for fatality

Middle French fatalité, from Late Latin fatalitat-, fatalitas, from Latin fatalis

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Dictionary Entries near fatality

fat acid




fatality rate



Statistics for fatality

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for fatality

The first known use of fatality was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for fatality



English Language Learners Definition of fatality

: a death that results from a disaster, accident, etc.
: a tendency to result in death


fa·​tal·​i·​ty | \ fā-ˈta-lə-tē How to pronounce fatality (audio) \
plural fatalities

Kids Definition of fatality

: a death resulting from a disaster or accident


fa·​tal·​i·​ty | \ fā-ˈtal-ət-ē, fə- How to pronounce fatality (audio) \
plural fatalities

Medical Definition of fatality

1 : the quality or state of causing death or destruction : deadliness the degree of fatality of a disease
2a : death resulting from a disaster a car crash causing several fatalities
b : one who suffers such a death one of the fatalities was a small child

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More from Merriam-Webster on fatality

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fatality

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fatality

Spanish Central: Translation of fatality

Nglish: Translation of fatality for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fatality for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fatality

What made you want to look up fatality? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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