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 Fast forward to 2018, when Justice Kennedy’s retirement renewed the same fears about Roe’s fate. Seth Stern, The Christian Science Monitor, "Fifty years of legal skirmishes have deepened the divide over Roe v. Wade," 29 June 2020 As World War II came to an end and the Allied powers began dismantling Japan’s empire, Korea’s fate became a bargaining chip between the United States and the U.S.S.R. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "The Korean War never technically ended. Here’s why.," 24 June 2020 The protests won’t stop because of a stalemate between the county commission and the city council over the statue’s fate, Bennett said. al, "Groups vow to continue fight to relocate Confederate statues, say Alabama law ‘immoral’," 13 July 2020 Fleck said the people deciding the basin's fate need information about the tradeoffs. Judy Fahys, The Arizona Republic, "How a tiny fish and its 'alien abductions' help frame the future of Colorado River," 12 July 2020 Asking unsalaried athletes to engage in a full-contact sport in such an environment feels like tempting fate. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Coronavirus spiking throughout the country is a trend that's not college football's friend," 11 July 2020 The sci-fi thriller is a convoluted mess that at least has a few moments of high-minded inspiration exploring fate vs. free will. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "What to stream this weekend: Tom Hanks captains 'Greyhound,' Charlize Theron leads 'The Old Guard'," 10 July 2020 But with the onslaught of the largest global pandemic in recent generations, many of those businesses have suffered a sad fate. Ashley J. Hobbs, Essence, "How Do You Keep Your Business Afloat During A Crisis?," 10 July 2020 Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that Russia only wants to keep the New START treaty as much as the U.S. does and will protect its security regardless of the pact’s fate. Washington Post, "Russia skeptical about nuclear pact extension prospects," 10 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Having deliberately committed to another country, as opposed to lazily acquiescing to fate like the native-born, many recent immigrants are especially passionate about their new home and less likely to take its benefits for granted. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Patrios," 16 Sep. 2019 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 entry 1

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Time Traveler for fate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fate

Last Updated

29 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fate. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for fate

fate

noun
How to pronounce fate (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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