[ feyt-fuh l ]
/ ˈfeɪt fəl /


having momentous significance or consequences; decisively important; portentous: a fateful meeting between the leaders of the two countries.
fatal, deadly, or disastrous.
controlled or determined by destiny; inexorable.
prophetic; ominous.

Origin of fateful

First recorded in 1705–15; fate + -ful

Related forms

fate·ful·ly, adverbfate·ful·ness, noun

Can be confused

fatal fateful fetal (see synonym study at fatal)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fateful

British Dictionary definitions for fateful


/ (ˈfeɪtfʊl) /


having important consequences; decisively important
bringing death or disaster
controlled by or as if by fate

Derived Forms

fatefully, adverbfatefulness, noun
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