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

Other Words from fateful

fatefully \ ˈfāt-​fə-​lē How to pronounce fateful (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.
Recent Examples on the Web Long before that fateful day in March 2021, Henry had affixed bold yellow lettering to the lattice that shields the bar’s patio from the street. Adam Kincaid, ajc, 26 July 2022 The committee has thus far told a remarkable story of the events leading up to January 6 and on that fateful day (unchecked, it should be noted, by any meaningful cross-examination or other presentation in defense of Trump). Elie Honig, CNN, 28 June 2022 The two faces, one of them in correspondence with the world and the other not, seem to illustrate what is fateful in identity. New York Times, 19 Apr. 2022 The Julia Roberts connection proved to be especially fateful. Kyle Roderick, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021 There's no shortage of films about the JFK, but David Mamet's latest project about Kennedy's assassination could shed new light on what happened that fateful day in November 1963. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, 28 June 2022 The effect was most prominent in babies whose mothers had been in their third trimester on that fateful day. Rachel Yehuda, Scientific American, 18 June 2022 The crimes Trump committed that fateful day continue to be revealed during these hearings. Rayna Reid Rayford, Essence, 17 June 2022 The role went to Teller, with Powell receiving that fateful July 2018 call that left him despondent. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of fateful

circa 1720, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for fateful

Time Traveler

The first known use of fateful was circa 1720

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Dictionary Entries Near fateful

fate drama


fate line

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Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fateful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fateful. Accessed 7 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for fateful


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

Kids Definition of fateful

: having serious results a fateful decision

More from Merriam-Webster on fateful

Nglish: Translation of fateful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fateful for Arabic Speakers


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