noun, often capitalized
kis·​met | \ ˈkiz-ˌmet How to pronounce kismet (audio) , -mət \

Definition of kismet

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Kismet Has Arabic Roots

Is it your fate to tie macramé while drinking coffee and eating sherbet in a minaret? That would be an unusual destiny, but if it turns out to be your kismet, you will owe much to Turkish and Arabic. We borrowed kismet from Turkish in the 1800s, but it ultimately derives from the Arabic qisma, meaning "portion" or "lot." Several other terms in our bizarre opening question (namely, macramé, coffee, sherbet, and minaret) have roots in those languages too. In the case of macramé and minaret, there is a little French influence as well. Coffee and macramé also have Italian relations, and sherbet has an ancestor in a Persian name for a type of cold drink.

Examples of kismet in a Sentence

he always said that it was kismet that they met at a showing of their favorite movie
Recent Examples on the Web This kismet, along with Hearst’s dedication to promoting environmental responsibility in the fashion industry, put her at the top of the list of contenders. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gabriela Hearst Is Named the New Creative Director of Chloé," 7 Dec. 2020 Replicating the kismet of chance encounters and meaningful glances is tech's next challenge. Steven Levy, Wired, "Videoconferencing Needs to Climb Out of the Uncanny Valley," 18 June 2020 Luckily, grace wasn’t exactly a character trait for Mia Thermopolis, so the would-be embarrassing moment turned out to be cinematic kismet. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, "This Iconic Princess Diaries Moment Was Completely Unscripted, According to Anne Hathaway," 13 May 2020 Whatever the reason — luck, randomness, kismet — our region caught a break, however briefly, when the Navy’s Blue Angels descended from thin air in nearly perfect view. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "In flying over Michigan, Blue Angels send jet fuel through our souls," 12 May 2020 So everything surrounding this show for me has been really kismet. Ruth Kinane,, "J. August Richards on how new show Council of Dads inspired him to come out publicly," 24 Apr. 2020 But today, during this coronavirus crisis, that school board hiring decision seems a bit like kismet. Los Angeles Times, "Column: L.A. schools chief Austin Beutner is performing admirably. But what comes after coronavirus?," 13 Apr. 2020 Never mind the Faxon-Rash landing, even the Downhill takeoff proved to be kismet. Tatiana Siegel, The Hollywood Reporter, "Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell Go Dark With Sundance Entry 'Downhill'," 26 Jan. 2020 Adding to the kismet, a General Electric engineer named Nick Holonyak developed the first LED light bulb capable of emitting visible red light in 1962—the same bulb used for Rudolph’s bioluminescent nose. Michelle Delgado, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Magical Animation of ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’," 23 Dec. 2019

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

1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for kismet

Turkish, from Arabic qisma portion, lot

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The first known use of kismet was in 1834

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Last Updated

12 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Kismet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce kismet (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of kismet

: a power that is believed to control what happens in the future

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