fatal

[ feyt-l ]
/ ˈfeɪt l /

adjective

Origin of fatal

1350–1400; Middle English (< Old French) < Latin fātālis of fate. See fate, -al1

SYNONYMS FOR fatal

1 Fatal, deadly, lethal, mortal apply to something that has caused or is capable of causing death. Fatal may refer to either the future or the past; in either case, it emphasizes inevitability and the inescapable—the disastrous, whether death or dire misfortune: The accident was fatal. Such a mistake would be fatal. Deadly looks to the future, and suggests that which is likely to cause death (though not inevitably so): a deadly poison, disease. Like deadly, lethal looks to the future but, like many other words of Latin origin, suggests a more technical usage: a lethal dose; a gas that is lethal. Mortal looks to the past and refers to death that has actually occurred: He received a mortal wound. The disease proved to be mortal.
2 ruinous, disastrous, calamitous, catastrophic, devastating.
4 predestined, foreordained.

Related forms

Can be confused

fatal fateful fetal (see synonym study at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fatal

British Dictionary definitions for fatal

fatal

/ (ˈfeɪtəl) /

adjective

resulting in or capable of causing deatha fatal accident
bringing ruin; disastrous
decisively important; fateful
decreed by fate; destined; inevitable

Word Origin for fatal

C14: from Old French fatal or Latin fātālis, from fātum, see 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

Medicine definitions for fatal

fatal

[ fātl ]

adj.

Causing or capable of causing death.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.