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

Two years after that fateful first gala together, Chopra and Jonas returned to the Met Gala, this time as a married couple. Glamour, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas' First Met Gala as a Married Couple Follows in a Cute Tradition," 7 May 2019 My mother is trying to finish reading my book, Tornado Weather, a novel about a fateful summer when a young girl goes missing from a small, fictional Indiana town. Deborah E. Kennedy, Good Housekeeping, "My Mom Has Dementia, But Her Relationship With My Son Is Unforgettable," 3 May 2019 While most of us GoT fans can agree that Arya was nothing short of badass in that fateful battle, some were quick to point out that Headey shouldn't be too quick to celebrate, considering her character could become Arya's next victim. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lena Headey (AKA Cersei Lannister) Praised Arya's Bravery on Game of Thrones and Fans Think It's a Bad Idea," 29 Apr. 2019 Advertising Abascal railed against the attempt by Catalan separatist lawmakers to declare independence in 2017, a fateful decision that set off Spain’s worst constitutional crisis in nearly four decades. Joseph Wilson, The Seattle Times, "Spain’s new far-right campaigns to stop Catalan separatists," 30 Mar. 2019 That became a fateful decision about a year ago, when airlines banned smart luggage with lithium-ion batteries that couldn’t be removed, citing fire risks. Nat Ives, WSJ, "DTC Marketing Is Disruptive and Popular, but It Isn’t Easy," 28 Jan. 2019 Despite that, since the fateful day Parkland, there have been almost 350 mass shooting in America. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Year After the Parkland Shooting, Has Anything Really Changed?," 14 Feb. 2019 That same year, another fateful event happened across the country, when a rising star in the Nazi party named Adolf Hitler suffered an embarrassing defeat in Munich as his Beer Hall Putch uprising was foiled by local authorities. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "The Saturn V Story: From Nazi Roots to America's Moon Rocket," 6 Feb. 2019 Vanessa had been suffering from mental health problems, and, on that fateful day, also had a seizure in the presence of officers. Araceli Cruz, Teen Vogue, "The Brown Berets, as Explained by Founding Member Dr. David Sanchez," 15 Oct. 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

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Last Updated

22 May 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 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

Comments on fateful

What made you want to look up fateful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


highly pertinent or appropriate

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