fate·​ful | \ ˈfāt-fəl How to pronounce fateful (audio) \

Definition of fateful

1 : having a quality of ominous prophecy a fateful remark
2a : involving momentous consequences : decisive made his fateful decision to declare war— W. L. Shirer
3 : controlled by fate : foreordained

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Other Words from fateful

fatefully \ ˈfāt-​fə-​lē How to pronounce fatefully (audio) \ adverb
fatefulness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for fateful

ominous, portentous, fateful mean having a menacing or threatening aspect. ominous implies having a menacing, alarming character foreshadowing evil or disaster. ominous rumblings from the volcano portentous suggests being frighteningly big or impressive but now seldom definitely connotes forewarning of calamity. an eerie and portentous stillness fateful suggests being of momentous or decisive importance. the fateful conference that led to war

Examples of fateful in a Sentence

His life changed on that fateful November evening. Hundreds perished on that fateful day. Her campaign took a fateful turn.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The cause was a fateful decision Flores made decades ago: to leave California to visit her ailing mother in Mexico. Brittny Mejia, latimes.com, "Deported airman’s mother inspires bill to protect ‘patriot parents’," 11 July 2019 Too many young people embroiled in circumstances and conditions that do not absolve, but contribute to their poor decisions, fateful decisions. Roy S. Johnson | Rjohnson@al.com, al.com, "Johnson: The silent faith behind the decision not to prosecute Marshae Jones," 4 July 2019 The day before that, Colvin had also made the fateful decision to speak to the BBC and CNN about the dire situation inside the siege. Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, The New York Review of Books, "How Assad Made Truth a Casualty of War," 7 Sep. 2018 And in the basement, the corridor where Jack Ruby made his fateful intervention is being safeguarded for future restoration efforts. Dan Singer, Dallas News, "Dallas' old city hall has been transformed inside for UNT Dallas' law school," 27 June 2019 The fateful dam was what is known as an upstream structure, in which the dam’s walls were formed by the mining waste itself, piled up and left to dry over several years. Luciana Magalhaes, WSJ, "Blasts Probed in Brazil Dam Burst," 25 June 2019 Seeing the gazebo in photographs or in that fateful video of Tamir is a different experience than being in its physical presence. cleveland.com, "Gazebo where Tamir Rice was killed finds temporary home in Chicago," 23 June 2019 Things looked decidedly more rosy before that fateful transfer to Anfield. SI.com, "6 Footballers Who Had Their Reputations Ruined by One Bad Career Move," 22 June 2019 Larson weaves three separate accounts here of excursions that took place during that fateful calendar year. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "In 'To the Edges of the Earth,’ a look at the people who pushed human exploration to its limits," 22 June 2019

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

circa 1720, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near fateful



fate drama


fate line

fate map

fat farm

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Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for fateful

The first known use of fateful was circa 1720

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English Language Learners Definition of fateful

: having important results : producing a serious and usually bad result


fate·​ful | \ ˈfāt-fəl How to pronounce fateful (audio) \

Kids Definition of fateful

: having serious results a fateful decision

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More from Merriam-Webster on fateful

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fateful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fateful

Spanish Central: Translation of fateful

Nglish: Translation of fateful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fateful for Arabic Speakers

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