pre·​des·​ti·​na·​tion | \ (ˌ)prē-ˌde-stə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce predestination (audio) , ˌprē-de- \

Definition of predestination

1 : the act of predestinating : the state of being predestinated
2 : the doctrine that God in consequence of his foreknowledge of all events infallibly guides those who are destined for salvation

Examples of predestination in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web With this as the prewritten outcome, Jack dramatizes the heartbreak of predestination while suggesting that the details and contours of a life—or a love—matter even if, in the end, that life or love will seem to come to nothing. Jordan Kisner, The Atlantic, "Marilynne Robinson’s Lonely Souls," 11 Sep. 2020 Which of these two pandemics any given American will experience will be determined by a morbid mix of a sort of demographic predestination—shaped strongly by inequality—and purely random chance. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, "The Two Pandemics," 10 Apr. 2020 By 1865 Lincoln had substituted rationalism and fatalism for the predestination theology of his Kentucky forebears at Little Pigeon Creek Baptist Church. The Economist, "Immortal words The tragic genius of Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural," 27 Feb. 2020 And the day after his address, the president had an appointment with predestination, as the Senate was scheduled for a Wednesday vote that would, barring shocking news or mass hypnosis, acquit him on impeachment charges. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "Highlights (and Snubs) From Trump’s State of the Union Speech," 5 Feb. 2020 Bradford and other Pilgrims believed in predestination. Peter C. Mancall, CNN, "Pilgrims survived the first Thanksgiving thanks to an epidemic that devastated Native Americans," 25 Nov. 2019 In the original Terminator, Cameron taps into what’s called a predestination paradox, or causality loop: An event causes another event that necessitates the first event. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "Causality Loops and Terminator’s 35-Year Struggle to Make Time Travel Convincing," 2 Nov. 2019 But the facts of her culinary upbringing do have that glitter of predestination. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "“Burn the Place” Is a Thrilling, Disquieting Memoir of Addiction and Coming of Age," 15 Oct. 2019 Up next was Anderson, a Holocaust denier who gave a rambling sermon against Calvinist theology, which includes predestination, the belief that God has chosen certain people to go to heaven before they’re born. Los Angeles Times, "Radical Baptist church preaches LGBTQ hate just miles from California’s Capitol," 2 Aug. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Cite this Entry

“Predestination.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

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How to pronounce predestination (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of predestination

: the belief that everything that will happen has already been decided by God or fate and cannot be changed

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