[fey-tal-i-tee, fuh-]
See more synonyms for fatality on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural fa·tal·i·ties.
  1. a disaster resulting in death.
  2. a death resulting from such an occurrence: a rise in highway fatalities.
  3. the quality of causing death or disaster; a fatal influence; deadliness.
  4. predetermined liability to disaster, misfortune, etc.: a fatality for saying the wrong thing.
  5. the quality of being predetermined by or subject to fate: There is a fatality in human affairs that leads to destruction.
  6. the fate or destiny of a person or thing: Death is the ultimate fatality of all human beings.
  7. a fixed, unalterably predetermined course of things; inevitability: to resign oneself to the fatality of life.

Origin of fatality

From the Late Latin word fātālitās, dating back to 1480–90. See fatal, -ity
Related formsnon·fa·tal·i·ty, noun, plural non·fa·tal·i·ties.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fatality

Contemporary Examples of fatality

Historical Examples of fatality

  • What a fatality, that you have no better an option—either a Scylla or a Charybdis.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • But if Ruffo were there, if Artois came, it would be fatality.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • By what fatality was it that a man always chose the worst road?

    Luttrell Of Arran

    Charles James Lever

  • It is a fatality rather than a triumph to have undergone such a change.

  • The Rita that haunted me had no history; she was but the principle of life charged with fatality.

    The Arrow of Gold

    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for fatality


noun plural -ties
  1. an accident or disaster resulting in death
  2. a person killed in an accident or disaster
  3. the power of causing death or disaster; deadliness
  4. the quality or condition of being fated
  5. something caused or dictated by 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

Word Origin and History for fatality

late 15c., "quality of causing death," from French fatalité, from Late Latin fatalitatem (nominative fatalitas), from Latin fatalis (see fatal). Senses in 16c.-17c. included "determined by fate" and "a destiny." Meaning "an occurrence resulting in widespread death" is from 1840. Related: Fatalities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fatality in Medicine


[fā-tălĭ-tē, fə-]
  1. A death resulting from an accident or disaster.
  2. One that is killed as a result of such an occurrence.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.