fa·tal·i·ty | \fā-ˈta-lə-tē, 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

With that fatality, Bach joins a growing list of farmers dealing with a problem that isn't native to Indiana — black vultures. Jordyn Hermani, Indianapolis Star, "Black vultures are eating cows alive. But it's difficult to legally kill the birds.," 13 July 2018 Last year, Florida was once again named the most dangerous state for bicyclists, with the highest rate of bicyclist fatalities, according to the most recent statistics from the Governors’ Highway Safety Association. David Schutz, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Which Broward County roads are safe for bicyclists? Search our map," 13 July 2018 From 2007 to 2016, there was a total of 243 attacks — including one fatality. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Florida beaches closed after shark attacks leave 2 injured: report," 13 July 2018 That allows the institute to investigate only one-third of on-duty firefighter fatalities. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "In a tragic loop, firefighters continue to die from preventable mistakes," 13 July 2018 Detectives investigating hit-and-run fatalities are often plagued by vague vehicle descriptions. Dan Morse, Washington Post, "This flaming 8-ball decal may help solve a hit-and-run mystery," 12 July 2018 Petty Officer First Class Samarn Kunan — The Fallen Former Navy SEAL This retired Thai Navy SEAL sacrificed his life to help save the Wild Boars, becoming the dangerous mission’s only fatality. SI.com, "These People Helped Keep Thai Soccer Team Alive in Flooded Cave," 11 July 2018 Tragically, Minnesota has seen two fatalities in children caused from a waterborne amoeba that enters the nose and attacks the brain. Glenn Howatt, chicagotribune.com, "Swimming pools, hot tubs are more likely than lakes to make you sick, studies find," 11 July 2018 But what separates Earthquake Alert! from many other apps is the supplemental information that comes following an event, such as fatality figures and economic impact. Cliff Kapono, sandiegouniontribune.com, "These smartphone apps will help you get through a natural disaster," 8 July 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



Phrases Related to fatality

fatality rate

Statistics for fatality

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

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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 \
plural fatalities

Kids Definition of fatality

: a death resulting from a disaster or accident


fa·tal·i·ty | \fā-ˈtal-ət-ē, fə- \
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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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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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