[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 fatalistic

Contemporary Examples of fatalistic

Historical Examples of fatalistic

  • She surrendered absolutely to fatalistic enjoyment of the gifts the gods had sent.


    Louis Joseph Vance

  • He chuckled softly and hideously to himself at the fatalistic idea.

    Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer

    Cyrus Townsend Brady

  • I was not in the least scared; on the contrary, I was filled with a kind of fatalistic rage.

  • Being Mohammedans, they show a fatalistic bravery in battle.

  • She handed her feelings over to the actors with a kind of fatalistic resignation.

    My Antonia

    Willa Cather

British Dictionary definitions for fatalistic



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 fatalistic

1832, from fatalist + -ic.



1670s, from fatal + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fatalistic 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.