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


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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 So, while the overall number of deaths went down, there was an increase in the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. Cari Shane, Car and Driver, "Traffic Safety Trends to Keep an Eye On in 2021," 2 Jan. 2021 If the fatality rate increased by 50 percent, that would lead to 193 deaths. Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic, "The Mutated Virus Is a Ticking Time Bomb," 31 Dec. 2020 And although nursing home staff have not had the same fatality rate as residents across the state, the isolation has been tough on them and the safety of residents weighs heavily. Emily Woodruff, NOLA.com, "Coronavirus vaccines come to this New Orleans nursing home: ‘I can’t imagine not getting it’," 30 Dec. 2020 Amid boasts from Russian President Vladimir Putin about the country's success in keeping the nation's COVID-19 fatality rate low, new statistics released by the government show a tripled death toll over what has been reported up until this point. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Russia admits COVID death toll more than triple what was previously reported," 29 Dec. 2020 Over all, the case fatality rate for COVID is two per cent. Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker, "The Plague Year," 28 Dec. 2020 The effect would be that more people over all would die — and also that more members of racial and ethnic minorities would die, because the higher fatality rate in older people would outweigh their lower share of representation in that age group. New York Times, "People Are Dying. Who Do We Save First With the Vaccine?," 24 Dec. 2020 The San Antonio region’s fatality rate was lower in November than at previous points in the pandemic, Bridger said. Joshua Fechter, ExpressNews.com, "Nearly half of San Antonio’s coronavirus deaths were residents on South and West sides," 17 Dec. 2020 Or, worst of all, causing injury or fatality while intoxicated. Frank Fellone, Arkansas Online, "OPINION | DRIVETIME MAHATMA: Impaired driving is still focus," 27 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for fatality

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fatality

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fatality.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fatality. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for fatality


How to pronounce fatality (audio)

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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