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

Rather than wall off the lessons learned in fatalities such as the recent Uber and Tesla incidents, Kornhauser said, the companies should be sharing crash data with one another, with outside researchers and with the general public. Russ Mitchell, latimes.com, "Driverless cars are growing in number, but makers don't want to reveal how they sometimes fail," 30 Apr. 2018 Balconies are a recurring theme in spring break fatalities. Lawrence Specker, AL.com, "Spring break safety: Manage the risks, save the fun," 1 Mar. 2018 In North Miami, there were seven pedestrian fatalities on the Northwest 79th Street corridor and one on North Miami Avenue in a hotspot located in the Little River neighborhood. USA TODAY, "Death on foot: Where you're most likely to die in the 5 most dangerous cities," 3 July 2018 Last year, 253 human cases of West Nile Virus were confirmed in California and there were 44 fatalities, Robles said. Hannah Holzer, sacbee, "West Nile Virus season has begun: 8 birds have tested positive in Sac County," 25 June 2018 There were 21 fatalities statewide related to boating accidents in 2015, a 20-year high, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police, one of the sponsors. Andrea K. Mcdaniels, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore County police teach water safety as boating season starts," 2 June 2018 In Colorado, the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, there were 51 fatalities in 2016 that involved drivers with THC blood levels above the state’s legal limit, according to the state department of transportation. Jenni Bergal, Philly.com, "Drugged driving deaths spike with spread of legal marijuana, opioid abuse," 31 May 2018 Details are still slim, but two law enforcement officials told CNN there have been multiple fatalities in the shooting in Texas on Friday. Saeed Ahmed, CNN, "A Parkland dad says he's been dreading another school shooting -- and it's happened again," 18 May 2018 There was one fatality of a flight attendant, who was sucked out of the airplane, but an amazing number of people survived that. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "How it’s possible for a person to be sucked from an airplane mid-flight," 18 Apr. 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

19 Sep 2018

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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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