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 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 But at this point, kismet may matter as much as Ks for a team that has won six of eight playoff games since facing a 3-1, eighth-inning deficit in the NL knockout match against Milwaukee. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Nationals look unbeatable against Cardinals in NLCS: 'There's this weird feeling'," 13 Oct. 2019 With the current political climate in the U.S. and Mexico, the timing felt kismet. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "MONOGEM Explores Her Mexican Heritage in "Soy Lo Que Soy"," 8 Oct. 2019 In a moment of kismet, this week also marked the debut of the excellent Absolute Carnage No. 1 by Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman, the latest Marvel Comics event that has been building for a little over a year in the pages of Venom. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Will Andy Serkis Take 'Venom 2' in a Darker Direction?," 8 Aug. 2019 Call it magic, kismet, or love at first sight, sometimes two people just click. Tamara Abraham, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Two Ultra-Stylish Brides Dreamed Up the Ultimate Countryside Wedding," 21 Feb. 2019 Kurtwood Smith, who played Red, the curmudgeonly patriarch on That ’70s Show, commented on the kismet of their union. Vogue, "Emily VanCamp and Josh Bowman Are Married! Plus, 11 Other Celebrity Couples Who Met on Set," 17 Dec. 2018 My mom had got me a set of books that was sort of kismet, this really like changed my life. Fox News, "Rick Harrison opens up about his journey to 'Pawn Stars'," 6 Aug. 2018 Silverman stumbled upon his passion project by kismet. Brady Macdonald,, "If this house could talk: Home biographer tells tales of famous names who once lived there," 25 May 2018

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

5 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Kismet.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for kismet


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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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kismet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kismet

Comments on kismet

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


to express in a more acceptable way

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