fate

noun
\ˈfāt \

Definition of fate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the will or principle or determining cause by which things in general are believed to come to be as they are or events to happen as they do : destiny fate sometimes deals a straight flush … he had no idea that he would become the right man in the right place at the right time …— June Goodfield

2a : an inevitable and often adverse outcome, condition, or end Her fate was to remain in exile.

b : disaster especially : death The villain met his fate at the hands of the hero.

3a : final outcome Congress decided the bill's fate by a single vote.

b : the expected result of normal development prospective fate of embryonic cells

c : the circumstances that befall someone or something did not know the fate of her former classmates

4 Fates plural : the three goddesses, Atropos, Clotho, and Lachesis, who determine the course of human life in classical mythology

fate

verb
\ˈfāt \
fated; fating

Definition of fate (Entry 2 of 2)

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Choose the Right Synonym for fate

Noun

fate, destiny, lot, portion, doom mean a predetermined state or end. fate implies an inevitable and usually an adverse outcome. the fate of the submarine is unknown destiny implies something foreordained and often suggests a great or noble course or end. the country's destiny to be a model of liberty to the world lot and portion imply a distribution by fate or destiny, lot suggesting blind chance it was her lot to die childless , portion implying the apportioning of good and evil. remorse was his daily portion doom distinctly implies a grim or calamitous fate. if the rebellion fails, his doom is certain

Examples of fate in a Sentence

Noun

… the fate of our species is bound up with those of countless others, with which we share a habitat that we cannot long dominate … — John Gray, Times Literary Supplement, 11 Sept. 1992 So what went wrong? I ask Syd again, glancing ahead to the inevitable end. What quirk of fate, this time round, Syd, checked the great man's stride? — John le Carré, A Perfect Spy, 1986 Often there is a specified character on whom a work hinges and whose fate we follow, a Raskolnikov or a Hamlet … — Robert Penn Warren, Democracy and Poetry, 1975 The money goes down one-two-three on the table, fives and tens and twenties, and the wheel begins to spin. Round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows. It's up to fate. Kismet, as they say. — Mordecai Richler, The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz, 1959 They thought they would never see each other again, but fate brought them back together. a surprising turn of fate One company went bankrupt, and a similar fate befell the other. Her fate was sealed by the marriage arrangement made in her youth.

Verb

Given what was going on when the magazine was started, Utne Reader seems fated to have happened—it was simply an idea that fit the times. — Eric Utne, Utne Reader, March/April 1994 It was during this interregnum between the acquisition of regional power and the actual use of it that Henderson was fated to enter the picture. — Robert D. Kaplan, The Arabists, 1993 Who are my viewing companions at this hour? Dazed and confused, we are isolated in sunken couches, empty beds and cheap hotel rooms across this crumbling nation, one through MTV but fated never to meet. — Hugh Gallagher, Rolling Stone, 29 Apr. 1993 the warning that the lack of an advanced education will fate a person to a lifetime of below-average earnings
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Then came the 2004 season, which was marked by two controversies that left Cal and Auburn feeling jilted and put the polls that determined their fate in a burdensome position. Ross Dellenger, SI.com, "Inside the AP's Fateful 2004 Decision to Withdraw Its Poll From the BCS Formula," 12 July 2018 The Departed shows how systems beyond the individual character’s control determine their fate. Lincoln Michel, GQ, "Martin Scorsese's Best Gangster Movie Is on Netflix," 2 June 2018 The outcome of the election could determine the fate of White’s future with the school district. Liz Bowie, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore County voters cast ballots in first school board election," 27 June 2018 Gibson writes, arguing that the fate of this relatively small community has lessons for similar ones across the country. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "In Portland, a neighborhood designs its own solution to displacement," 26 June 2018 In this exclusive excerpt, Hagey takes us to the fateful 2016 meeting between Redstone and Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman that set in motion the fight that will determine the fate of Redstone's empire after his death. Keach Hagey, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Moment the War for Sumner Redstone’s Media Empire Really Began (Exclusive Book Excerpt)," 26 June 2018 As fate would have it, one of the dinner guests was young publisher John H. Johnson. Hannah Giorgis, Bon Appetit, "How Freda DeKnight’s Cookbook, ‘A Date with a Dish’ Inspired Generations of Black Cooks," 19 June 2018 Families of the other abductees are getting old and many see the Trump-Kim summit as their last chance for a breakthrough in determining their fate. Mari Yamaguchi, chicagotribune.com, "North Korea's neighbors may have conflicting goals for Kim-Trump summit," 9 June 2018 Is its shell doomed to remain vacant forever, or will someone in a position of power finally make a decision to determine its fate? Longreads, "The Top 5 Longreads of the Week," 5 June 2018

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1601, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fate

Noun

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin fatum, literally, what has been spoken, from neuter of fatus, past participle of fari to speak — more at ban

Verb

see fate entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near fate

fat crab

fat depot

fat dormouse

fate

fated

fate drama

fateful

Statistics for fate

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fate

The first known use of fate was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for fate

fate

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fate

: a power that is believed to control what happens in the future

: the things that will happen to a person or thing : the future that someone or something will have

fate

noun
\ˈfāt \

Kids Definition of fate

1 : a power beyond human control that is believed to determine what happens : destiny It was fate that brought them together.

2 : something that happens as though determined by fate : fortune She stood … watching the sad fate of her comrades …— L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz

3 : final outcome Voters will decide the fate of the election.

fate

noun
\ˈfāt \

Medical Definition of fate 

: the expected result of normal development prospective fate of embryonic cells

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Comments on fate

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