[ feyt ]
See synonyms for: fatefatedfating on Thesaurus.com

  1. something that unavoidably befalls a person; fortune; lot: It is always his fate to be left behind.

  2. the universal principle or ultimate agency by which the order of things is presumably prescribed; the decreed cause of events; time: Fate decreed that they would never meet again.

  1. that which is inevitably predetermined; destiny: Death is our ineluctable fate.

  2. a prophetic declaration of what must be: The oracle pronounced their fate.

  3. death, destruction, or ruin.

  4. the Fates, Classical Mythology. the three goddesses of destiny, known to the Greeks as the Moerae and to the Romans as the Parcae.

verb (used with object),fat·ed, fat·ing.
  1. to predetermine, as by the decree of fate; destine (used in the passive): a person who was fated to be the savior of the country.

Origin of fate

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English, Middle French, from Latin fātum “what has been spoken, utterance, decree of fate, destiny,” originally neuter of fātus, past participle of fārī “to speak”

synonym study For fate

1. Fate, destiny, doom refer to the idea of a fortune, usually adverse, that is predetermined and inescapable. The three words are frequently interchangeable. Fate stresses the irrationality and impersonal character of events: It was Napoleon's fate to be exiled. The word is often lightly used, however: It was my fate to meet her that very afternoon. Destiny emphasizes the idea of an unalterable course of events, and is often used of a propitious fortune: It was his destiny to save his nation. Doom especially applies to the final ending, always unhappy or terrible, brought about by destiny or fate: He met his doom bravely.

Other words for fate

Words that may be confused with fate

Words Nearby fate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use fate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fate


/ (feɪt) /

  1. the ultimate agency that predetermines the course of events

  2. the inevitable fortune that befalls a person or thing; destiny

  1. the end or final result

  2. a calamitous or unfavourable outcome or result; death, destruction, or downfall

  1. (tr; usually passive) to predetermine; doom: he was fated to lose the game

Origin of fate

C14: from Latin fātum oracular utterance, from fārī to speak

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with fate


In addition to the idioms beginning with fate

  • fate worse than death, a

also see:

  • seal one's fate
  • tempt fate

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.