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[fey-tal-i-tee, fuh-] /feɪˈtæl ɪ ti, fə-/
noun, plural fatalities.
a disaster resulting in death.
a death resulting from such an occurrence:
a rise in highway fatalities.
the quality of causing death or disaster; a fatal influence; deadliness.
predetermined liability to disaster, misfortune, etc.:
a fatality for saying the wrong thing.
the quality of being predetermined by or subject to fate:
There is a fatality in human affairs that leads to destruction.
the fate or destiny of a person or thing:
Death is the ultimate fatality of all human beings.
a fixed, unalterably predetermined course of things; inevitability:
to resign oneself to the fatality of life.
Origin of fatality
From the Late Latin word fātālitās, dating back to 1480-90. See fatal, -ity
Related forms
nonfatality, noun, plural nonfatalities. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fatality
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What a fatality, that you have no better an option—either a Scylla or a Charybdis.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • But if Ruffo were there, if Artois came, it would be fatality.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • By what fatality was it that a man always chose the worst road?

    Luttrell Of Arran Charles James Lever
  • It is a fatality rather than a triumph to have undergone such a change.

    The Industries of Animals Frdric Houssay
  • The Rita that haunted me had no history; she was but the principle of life charged with fatality.

    The Arrow of Gold Joseph Conrad
  • He attributed the fatality, in part, to a want of sufficient ventilation.

    Cattle and Their Diseases Robert Jennings
  • It grieves me much, that by some fatality, his services seem ever overlooked.'

    Alroy Benjamin Disraeli
British Dictionary definitions for fatality


noun (pl) -ties
an accident or disaster resulting in death
a person killed in an accident or disaster
the power of causing death or disaster; deadliness
the quality or condition of being fated
something caused or dictated by fate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fatality

late 15c., "quality of causing death," from French fatalité, from Late Latin fatalitatem (nominative fatalitas), from Latin fatalis (see fatal). Senses in 16c.-17c. included "determined by fate" and "a destiny." Meaning "an occurrence resulting in widespread death" is from 1840. Related: Fatalities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fatality in Medicine

fatality fa·tal·i·ty (fā-tāl'ĭ-tē, fə-)

  1. A death resulting from an accident or a disaster.

  2. One that is killed as a result of such an occurrence.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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