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noun Classical Mythology.
  1. the Fate who cuts the thread of life.
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Origin of Atropos

< Greek: literally, not turning, hence, inflexible. See a-6, -trope
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for atropos

Historical Examples

  • Atropos has decreed that I at least shall never again enter her walls.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Lachesis announced the past, Clotho the present, and Atropos the future.

    The Phantom World

    Augustin Calmet

  • We have constructed a fate, an Atropos, that never turns aside.

  • Like the time—the 'Atropos' came in just after we touched down.

    A Question of Courage

    Jesse Franklin Bone

  • Atropos is the Fate who cuts the thread of life; see note to v. 7.

British Dictionary definitions for atropos


  1. Greek myth the one of the three Fates who severs the thread of life
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Word Origin

Greek, from atropos that may not be turned, from a- 1 + -tropos from trepein to turn
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

Word Origin and History for atropos


one of the Fates (the one who holds the shears and determines the manner of a person's death and cuts the thread), from Greek, "inflexible," literally "not to be turned away," from a- "not" (see a- (3)) + stem of trepein "to turn" (see trope). Related form Atropa was the Greek name for deadly nightshade.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper