1 of 2


: a law or ordinance especially in Anglo-Saxon England
: judgment, decision
especially : a judicial condemnation or sentence
: destiny
especially : unhappy destiny
: death, ruin


2 of 2


doomed; dooming; dooms

transitive verb

: to give judgment against : condemn
: to fix the fate of : destine
felt he was doomed to a life of loneliness
: to make certain the failure or destruction of
the scandal doomed her chances for election
Choose the Right Synonym for doom

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 doom in a Sentence

Noun The papers are filled with stories of gloom and doom. the story of a mysterious creature who lures travelers to their doom Verb A criminal record will doom your chances of becoming a politician. the actor felt that he was doomed to be forever remembered for that one terrible performance
Recent Examples on the Web
So far, the big apps’ efforts to avoid this doom loop have involved the same basic feature that has been around since the beginning: swiping. Lora Kelley, The Atlantic, 10 Apr. 2024 San Francisco fell into what a lot of people called an urban doom loop, and to put it simply, the city’s downtown changed in the post-pandemic world. Byalena Botros, Fortune, 10 Apr. 2024 An acute sense of instability will inform much of the content bought and sold on the MipTV floor, though the symptoms might manifest themselves beyond doom and gloom. Ben Croll, Variety, 5 Apr. 2024 Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman. Dread, doom, destruction. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2024 Holding onto them means nothing can happen to Clementine—which in turn means that discarding them could invite doom. Ruthie Ackerman, Vogue, 13 Mar. 2024 Despite their dire retirement prospects, the picture isn’t just one of doom and gloom. Chloe Berger, Fortune, 27 Feb. 2024 Some version of this doom loop has played out in Hong Kong’s nightlife scene ever since the pandemic, when many music venues closed never to reopen. Chris Lau, CNN, 24 Feb. 2024 Just as pervasive is a dismal resignation, a feeling of helplessness against a certain doom. Elizabeth Barber, Harper's Magazine, 2 Feb. 2024
Are these kids already doomed? March 22, 2024 The idea behind angelbaby came from Hume co-founders David Beiner and Jay Stolar. Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2024 And then there were the earthquakes, the Allied bombing raids of the city during World War II and urbanization that doomed other towers. Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times, 4 Apr. 2024 The Francis Scott Key Bridge stood little chance: When the loaded container ship Dali destroyed one of the bridge's main support columns, the entire structure was doomed to fail. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, 26 Mar. 2024 But environmental changes like drought may have later doomed P. yacuruna and driven it to extinction, opening the freshwater habitat to the ancestors of extant pink river dolphins. Mindy Weisberger, CNN, 26 Mar. 2024 And while genuflecting before the Reagan myth, Trump could not have been more different—an angry, pessimistic figure who warned that America was doomed and promised a return to a mythic past. CBS News, 23 Mar. 2024 But as her notoriety grows, so does the danger that her Jewish blood will doom her to the Inquisition’s wrath. Sarah Yang, Sunset Magazine, 19 Mar. 2024 While those are good reasons to speed up a launch, the look of this app may have doomed it from the start. Jody Serrano / Gizmodo, Quartz, 28 Mar. 2024 But a combined aid package for both Ukraine and Israel like the one that passed the Senate last month could be doomed by a coalition of right-wing Republicans opposing the money for Kyiv and left-wing Democrats opposing aid for Israel. Catie Edmondson, New York Times, 25 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'doom.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, from Old English dōm; akin to Old High German tuom condition, state, Old English dōn to do

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of doom was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near doom

Cite this Entry

“Doom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a decision made by a court : sentence
: a usually unhappy end


2 of 2 verb
: to set on a fixed course to an unhappy end
the plan was doomed to failure

More from Merriam-Webster on doom

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