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

As the reported toll of fatalities and injuries ticked up over the course of the day, the long lineup of contenders speaking at a union forum here sounded increasingly rattled. Casey Tolan, The Mercury News, "‘We cannot tolerate this:’ Presidential contenders call for action on gun control after El Paso mass shooting," 3 Aug. 2019 This accident on Tuesday evening looks nasty, but authorities reported no fatalities and no serious injuries. Pioneer Press, Twin Cities, "Car flips in multi-car accident outside Xcel; no fatalities reported," 16 July 2019 Commercial vehicles were involved in 16,910 of those accidents, which resulted in 152 fatalities and 3,297 injuries. Kellie Hwang, Indianapolis Star, "This is how often crashes in Indiana involve large trucks and other commercial vehicles," 15 July 2019 New York authorities said there were no reports of fatalities or injuries. Olivia Sanchez, USA TODAY, "New York City power outage: Here's what we know about the widespread blackout," 13 July 2019 No fatalities or injuries were immediately reported. Fox News, "Oprah Winfrey 'immediately' granted access to private road for Hawaii fire evacuations, she says," 12 July 2019 No fatalities or major injuries were initially reported at the time, according to the Associated Press. Char Adams, PEOPLE.com, "Boy, 11, Carries 2-Year-Old from Laundromat During Earthquake: 'I Grabbed My Sister and Ran'," 10 July 2019 Mass deployment will take many years, but the NTSB has estimated that this technology could eventually reduce fatalities and injuries from rear-end crashes by 80%. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Self-Driving Cars Have a Problem: Safer Human-Driven Ones," 15 June 2019 According to the group, side underride guards like this could reduce fatalities and serious injuries with semitrailers by 90 percent. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, "Yes, Autopilot Was On in the Tesla Model 3 Crash in March, NTSB Report Confirms," 16 May 2019

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

8 Aug 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

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