: 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
: an inevitable and often adverse outcome, condition, or end
Her fate was to remain in exile.
: final outcome
Congress decided the bill's fate by a single vote.
: the expected result of normal development
prospective fate of embryonic cells
: the circumstances that befall someone or something
did not know the fate of her former classmates
Fates plural : the three goddesses, Atropos, Clotho, and Lachesis, who determine the course of human life in classical mythology
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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web
NounWhile the series has wrapped and viewers (mostly) know what happened to the two characters, Applegate isn't as certain about what fate awaits her. —Gerrad Hall, EW.com, 17 May 2023 Peter Mountain/Universal Pictures All of the aforementioned fates have befallen vehicles in this series. —Odie Henderson, BostonGlobe.com, 17 May 2023 That's a decent number considering the company's EV fate is tied, for now at least, with Toyota. —Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, 17 May 2023 Tonight the world finds out where 7-foot-4 French basketball phenom Victor Wembanyama will play basketball next season when the ping pong balls fall and teams learn their fate during the 2023 NBA draft lottery. —oregonlive, 16 May 2023 Because this kris was meant to determine the fate of her kids. —The Foretold Team, Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2023 Election day: Voters decide fate of Coyotes arena deal Immigrant, tutor, engineering student — now superintendent Arizona Storytellers: 'Neighbors' Where: Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe. —Jodicee Arianna, The Arizona Republic, 16 May 2023 It feels destined to the fate of so many high-profile projects of the streaming age, another tile heedlessly tossed onto the landing page. —Erik Adams, Chron, 15 May 2023 Carmina Burana mixes medieval Latin and Middle High German texts about fickle fate, drinking and love both emotional and carnal. —Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 12 May 2023
VerbThe struggle for Israel will therefore be fated to continue no matter the outcome of the judicial overhaul battle, observers say. —Neri Zilber, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 May 2023 Though big outfits like Hollywood Video and countless mom-and-pop shops rushed into the rental market, the emblematic and hegemonic outlet was Blockbuster Video Inc., which seems fated to go down in media history as the village blacksmith shop to Netflix’s automotive garage. —Thomas Doherty, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Apr. 2023 The record, which features line after line of lyrics fated to become Instagram captions, was created from scratch by the anonymous TikTok user Ghostwriter977 using artificial intelligence. —Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 17 Apr. 2023 Watch this to learn more about how your Moon sign influences your personality: play iconThe triangle icon that indicates to play The relationship may feel fated, thanks to Juno and Saturn’s influence. —Naydeline Mejia, Women's Health, 25 Mar. 2023 Whether as rebels or loyalists, we’re all fated to be subjects in the kingdom of prep. —Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 20 Mar. 2023 Or can fate pass us by? —Lucy Jakub, The New York Review of Books, 4 Dec. 2021 Distinguished Argentine director Carri has to fate explored experimental techniques and fresh storytelling mechanisms. —Emilio Mayorga, Variety, 16 Feb. 2022 Call it fate, call it chance, the world moves on either way. —Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 6 Jan. 2018 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
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