[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 fatalist

Contemporary Examples of fatalist

Historical Examples of fatalist

  • He is a fatalist, taking his profits and losses as if they were gifts or blows of Fortune.

  • Many a man has become a fatalist because he has fallen under the dominion of a single idea.



  • "Indeed, indeed," Asad agreed, grasping at the fatalist's consolation.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

  • But I can't find it in me to behave like a fatalist, to sit down with folded hands.

    The Rescue

    Joseph Conrad

  • “Their time was come,” said Daddy, who was a bit of a Fatalist.

    Danger! and Other Stories

    Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for fatalist



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 fatalist

1640s, in reference to the philosophical doctrine that all things are determined by fate; from fatal + -ist. General sense of "one who accepts every event as inevitable" is from 1734.



1670s, from fatal + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fatalist 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.