fate

noun
\ ˈfāt How to pronounce fate (audio) \

Definition of fate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the will or principle or determining cause by which things in general are believed to come to be as they are or events to happen as they do : destiny fate sometimes deals a straight flush … he had no idea that he would become the right man in the right place at the right time …— June Goodfield
2a : an inevitable and often adverse outcome, condition, or end Her fate was to remain in exile.
b : disaster especially : death The villain met his fate at the hands of the hero.
3a : final outcome Congress decided the bill's fate by a single vote.
b : the expected result of normal development prospective fate of embryonic cells
c : the circumstances that befall someone or something did not know the fate of her former classmates
4 Fates plural : the three goddesses, Atropos, Clotho, and Lachesis, who determine the course of human life in classical mythology

fate

verb
\ ˈfāt How to pronounce fate (audio) \
fated; fating

Definition of fate (Entry 2 of 2)

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Choose the Right Synonym for fate

Noun

fate, destiny, lot, portion, doom mean a predetermined state or end. fate implies an inevitable and usually an adverse outcome. the fate of the submarine is unknown destiny implies something foreordained and often suggests a great or noble course or end. the country's destiny to be a model of liberty to the world lot and portion imply a distribution by fate or destiny, lot suggesting blind chance it was her lot to die childless , portion implying the apportioning of good and evil. remorse was his daily portion doom distinctly implies a grim or calamitous fate. if the rebellion fails, his doom is certain

Examples of fate in a Sentence

Noun

… the fate of our species is bound up with those of countless others, with which we share a habitat that we cannot long dominate … — John Gray, Times Literary Supplement, 11 Sept. 1992 So what went wrong? I ask Syd again, glancing ahead to the inevitable end. What quirk of fate, this time round, Syd, checked the great man's stride? — John le Carré, A Perfect Spy, 1986 Often there is a specified character on whom a work hinges and whose fate we follow, a Raskolnikov or a Hamlet … — Robert Penn Warren, Democracy and Poetry, 1975 The money goes down one-two-three on the table, fives and tens and twenties, and the wheel begins to spin. Round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows. It's up to fate. Kismet, as they say. — Mordecai Richler, The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz, 1959 They thought they would never see each other again, but fate brought them back together. a surprising turn of fate One company went bankrupt, and a similar fate befell the other. Her fate was sealed by the marriage arrangement made in her youth.

Verb

Given what was going on when the magazine was started, Utne Reader seems fated to have happened—it was simply an idea that fit the times. — Eric Utne, Utne Reader, March/April 1994 It was during this interregnum between the acquisition of regional power and the actual use of it that Henderson was fated to enter the picture. — Robert D. Kaplan, The Arabists, 1993 Who are my viewing companions at this hour? Dazed and confused, we are isolated in sunken couches, empty beds and cheap hotel rooms across this crumbling nation, one through MTV but fated never to meet. — Hugh Gallagher, Rolling Stone, 29 Apr. 1993 the warning that the lack of an advanced education will fate a person to a lifetime of below-average earnings
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Given that the fate of millions of species, the future livelihoods of current high-schoolers, and the stability of modern civilization rests in the balance, the only word to describe the situation is: emergency. Carolyn Kormann, The New Yorker, "The Case for Declaring a National Climate Emergency," 11 July 2019 The fate of the Affordable Care Act is again on the line Tuesday, as a federal appeals court in New Orleans takes up a case in which a lower court judge has already ruled the massive health law unconstitutional. Julie Rovner, Scientific American, "Federal Appeals Court Takes Up Case That Threatens Affordable Care Act," 9 July 2019 Dido’s fate is the only part of her that is in the opera! Constance Grady, Vox, "Opera companies are increasingly starting to take their productions out of the opera house," 9 July 2019 The fate of 6-year-old Raymond Erickson is one of the more mystifying stories that emerged from the Hartford circus fire. Dave Altimari, courant.com, "In the chaos of the Hartford circus fire, a 6-year-old boy disappeared; now, 75 years later, his family wants to find out what happened to him," 7 July 2019 But what happens when the fate of local colleges is not up to the not the public decision but to a single politician? Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "Higher Education Has Become a Partisan Issue," 5 July 2019 The fate of the art collection, valued at $898,554 at purchase price, is unclear. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "With governor’s arts council veto, Alaska would become only state without an arts agency," 3 July 2019 Lavelle said of those minutes when everyone’s fate was busy being decided somewhere else. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Ruthless. Relentless. Victorious.," 2 July 2019 And now the fate of the program is again in limbo after the Supreme Court agreed late last week to hear the case in its next term. NBC News, "Supreme Court to hear DACA case while 'Dreamers' who never qualified remain in the shadows," 2 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Shiru’s logo is made entirely of circles and represents cultural exchange or connections of students and companies, which also alludes to fate or destiny. Fox News, "Students ‘pay’ for coffee with personal data," 4 Oct. 2018

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1601, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fate

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin fatum, literally, what has been spoken, from neuter of fatus, past participle of fari to speak — more at ban

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Dictionary Entries near fate

fat crab

fat depot

fat dormouse

fate

fated

fate drama

fateful

Statistics for fate

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fate

The first known use of fate was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for fate

fate

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fate

: a power that is believed to control what happens in the future
: the things that will happen to a person or thing : the future that someone or something will have

fate

noun
\ ˈfāt How to pronounce fate (audio) \

Kids Definition of fate

1 : a power beyond human control that is believed to determine what happens : destiny It was fate that brought them together.
2 : something that happens as though determined by fate : fortune She stood … watching the sad fate of her comrades …— L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz
3 : final outcome Voters will decide the fate of the election.

fate

noun
\ ˈfāt How to pronounce fate (audio) \

Medical Definition of fate

: the expected result of normal development prospective fate of embryonic cells

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More from Merriam-Webster on fate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fate

Spanish Central: Translation of fate

Nglish: Translation of fate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fate for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fate

Comments on fate

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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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