fate·​ful | \ ˈfāt-fəl \

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 \ 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

During a fateful family ski trip to Beaver Creek, Colorado, Marino’s ski broke on the mountain. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "6 Tips for Beginner Snowboarders From Olympian Julia Marino," 22 Jan. 2019 Perhaps the most fateful of Gandhi’s errors, though probably the least remembered, was his decision to take a leading role in the campaign after World War I to restore the Turkish caliphate. Ferdinand Mount, WSJ, "‘Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World’ Review: The Prophet as Politician," 1 Nov. 2018 There was that fateful pre-election letter about Hillary Clinton's emails. Lizzy Acker, OregonLive.com, "James Comey is coming to Portland," 15 Mar. 2018 Along the way, the Frasers cross paths with notorious pirate and smuggler Stephen Bonnet in a fateful meeting that will come back to haunt the Fraser family. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The New Outlander Season 4 Trailer Has Too Many Shocking Moments to Count," 10 Sep. 2018 Davern, a family friend as well as Navy vet, was the captain that fateful weekend. Nancy Bilyeau, Town & Country, "What Really Happened to Natalie Wood?," 29 Nov. 2018 Surely, the suits who make this decision are aware the Internet really wants to see Jennifer Lynn Lopez take the stage on that fateful night. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "I'm Confused Why Maroon 5 Is Doing the Super Bowl Halftime Show and Jennifer Lopez Isn't," 19 Sep. 2018 But one fateful morning in a hotel room in Dubai puts a dead stop to Cassie's fancy-free lifestyle. Maureen Corrigan, chicagotribune.com, "'The Flight Attendant' is, yes, the perfect airplane read," 19 Mar. 2018 Prior to the fateful fall, engineers will constantly assess what the weather is like on Mars and what the spacecraft’s trajectory looks like. Loren Grush, The Verge, "NASA’s InSight lander has just six and a half minutes to land on Mars in one piece," 21 Nov. 2018

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

Statistics for fateful

Last Updated

13 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for fateful

The first known use of fateful was circa 1720

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More Definitions for fateful



English Language Learners Definition of fateful

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


fate·​ful | \ ˈfāt-fəl \

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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