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

b : deadly, catastrophic

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

Other than the fateful third inning, Boyd allowed one hit over five innings, with eight strikeouts. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers implode in 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay Rays: Three takeaways," 10 July 2018 And so on June 9, 2016, Don—along with his brother-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort—began a fateful confab in a conference room in Trump Tower. Julia Ioffe, GQ, "The Real Story of Donald Trump Jr.," 21 June 2018 Mystery and suspense tales often begin with a knockout opening - a murder, a chase scene or a fateful knock at the detective's door. Maureen Corrigan, chicagotribune.com, "Forget about 007. This heroine has her own brand of spycraft.," 21 June 2018 The fateful homage-within-a-homage will air this Thursday's on Lip Sync Battle, where Silverstone goes head to head with her American Woman co-star, Mena Suvari. Emily Wang, Glamour, "Alicia Silverstone Just Resurrected Cher Horowitz for Lip Sync Battle," 11 June 2018 Bacca’s shot bounced off the goalkeeper, the fateful miss that would allow England to go on to win. Kanishk Tharoor, The Atlantic, "The Elusive Underdog Magic of the World Cup," 14 July 2018 Jacqueline Kennedy was well-prepared for her trip to Dallas in 1963, save for the fact that nothing could have prepared her for the events that unfolded during that fateful visit. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, "Jackie Kennedy's Never-Before-Seen Packing List for That Tragic Trip to Texas," 10 July 2018 The pink Chanel suit First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy wore the day of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination has been a lasting symbol of that fateful day in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Megan Friedman, Town & Country, "Jackie Kennedy’s Never-Before-Seen Packing List Reveals Heartbreaking Details of Her Final Trip with JFK," 9 July 2018 Cain dodged an earlier criminal conviction only to make the fateful mistake of getting mixed up with FourWinds. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "Uresti’s co-defendant set to be sentenced," 27 June 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

11 Sep 2018

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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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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).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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