[feyt-l-iz-uh m]


the acceptance of all things and events as inevitable; submission to fate: Her fatalism helped her to face death with stoic calm.
Philosophy. the doctrine that all events are subject to fate or inevitable predetermination.

Origin of fatalism

First recorded in 1670–80; fatal + -ism
Related formsfa·tal·ist, nounfa·tal·is·tic, adjectivefa·tal·is·ti·cal·ly, adverbnon·fa·tal·is·tic, adjectivequa·si-fa·tal·is·tic, adjectivequa·si-fa·tal·is·ti·cal·ly, adverbun·fa·tal·is·tic, adjectiveun·fa·tal·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Can be confuseddeterminism fatalism necessitarianism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fatalism

Contemporary Examples of fatalism

Historical Examples of fatalism

  • The unexpected march of events had converted him to the doctrine of fatalism.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • Perhaps the liquor brought him something of the chill Russian fatalism.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • In other words, you yield to what Mr. Bryce calls "the fatalism of the multitude."

  • Let us not abandon the future of our race to the fatalism of Allah; let us create it ourselves!

  • Her magnanimity, he tells us, is unexampled, and her fatalism pathetic.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

British Dictionary definitions for fatalism



the philosophical doctrine that all events are predetermined so that man is powerless to alter his destiny
the acceptance of and submission to this doctrine
a lack of effort or action in the face of difficulty
Derived Formsfatalist, nounfatalistic, adjectivefatalistically, adverb
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 fatalism

1670s, from fatal + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fatalism in Culture


The belief that events are determined by an impersonal fate and cannot be changed by human beings. Fatalism is a form of determinism.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.