- something that unavoidably befalls a person; fortune; lot: It is always his fate to be left behind.
- the universal principle or ultimate agency by which the order of things is presumably prescribed; the decreed cause of events; time: Fate decreed that they would never meet again.
- that which is inevitably predetermined; destiny: Death is our ineluctable fate.
- a prophetic declaration of what must be: The oracle pronounced their fate.
- death, destruction, or ruin.
- the Fates, Classical Mythology. the three goddesses of destiny, known to the Greeks as the Moerae and to the Romans as the Parcae.
- to predetermine, as by the decree of fate; destine (used in the passive): a person who was fated to be the savior of the country.
Origin of fate
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for fates
Retrieving him at least reminds soldiers that we will never abandon them to their fates, right or wrong.We Lost Soldiers in the Hunt for Bergdahl, a Guy Who Walked Off in the Dead of Night
Nathan Bradley Bethea
June 2, 2014
We sat in the corner of a studio near his unfinished group of the “Fates.”Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
Years later, they would joke among themselves in harsh terms about the fates of folks they felt had betrayed them.The Hillary-Haters’ Book Club Will Never Run Out of Things to Read
January 15, 2014
It was a strategic error to tie their fates to those regimes.The Holy Land’s Endangered Christians
January 12, 2014
But together, we can rediscover a purpose without surrendering American politics to the Fates.Dear Frank Luntz: Here’s How to Be Happy Again
January 8, 2014
It seemed more than a decree of chance that their fates should be intertwined.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
I begin to be afraid that the Fates is determined to make the world easy to me.'Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
The Fates could never be so hard, for certainly now they were smiling.
It seemed as though the Fates and Sue were in league to keep Joe in my life.
Meanwhile we must attend to the fates of these unhappy young people.
- the ultimate agency that predetermines the course of events
- the inevitable fortune that befalls a person or thing; destiny
- the end or final result
- a calamitous or unfavourable outcome or result; death, destruction, or downfall
- (tr; usually passive) to predetermine; doomhe was fated to lose the game
Word Origin and History for fates
late 14c., from Latin fata, neuter plural of fatum "prophetic declaration, oracle, prediction," thus "that which is ordained, destiny, fate," literally "thing spoken (by the gods)," from neuter past participle of fari "to speak," from PIE *bha- (2) "speak" (see fame (n.)).
The Latin sense evolution is from "sentence of the Gods" (Greek theosphaton) to "lot, portion" (Greek moira, personified as a goddess in Homer), also "one of the three goddesses (Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos) who determined the course of a human life." The native word was wyrd (see weird).
"to preordain as if by fate; to be destined by fate," c.1600, from fate (n.). Related: Fated; fating. Earlier it meant "to destroy" (c.1400).