[ kiz-met, kis- ]
/ ˈkɪz mɛt, ˈkɪs- /
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Definition of kismet

fate; destiny: It must have been kismet that brought the bride and groom together a year ago.
(in Islam) the arbitrary will of Allah; divinely ordained fate: complete submission to kismet.


Kismet: Visual Word of the Day

How do you know when something is meant to be? Sometimes, it's just fate . . . it's kismet.

Test how much you really know about regular and irregular plural nouns with this quiz.
Question 1 of 9
Which of the following nouns has an irregular plural form?
Sometimes kis·mat [kiz-muht, kis-]. /ˈkɪz mət, ˈkɪs-/.

Origin of kismet

First recorded in 1840–50; from Turkish, from Persian qismat, from Arabic qisma, qismat- “division, portion, lot, fate,” akin to qasama “(he) divided,” from the (West) Semitic root qsm “to divide, allot”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does kismet mean?

Kismet means fate or destiny.

In Islam, kismet refers to the will of Allah. But it is popularly used to refer to something that one believes was “meant to be”—or the reason why such a thing happened. It can also be spelled kismat, but that’s much less common.

Example: We ran into each other on Valentine’s Day, and neither of us had a date, so who was I to deny kismet?

Where does kismet come from?

Kismet came to English from Turkish, but it has a long history in Middle Eastern languages. The Turkish word kismet came from the Persian qismat, which came from the Arabic qismah, meaning “fate,” “portion,” or “division.” This Arabic word has its basis in the Arabic verb qasama, meaning “to divide.” The first records of kismet in English come from the 1840s.

In Islam, kismet refers to what some people might call “God’s will”—the divine reason for everything that happens. In popular use, it often refers to the supposed reason for a chance encounter or coincidence. Kismet is especially used in phrases like it’s kismet or it was kismet, implying that a certain event is meant to have occurred. The occurrence is almost always a positive one. Fate and destiny, on the other hand, are used for both positive and negative circumstances. In this way, kismet is somewhat similar to the word serendipity, which means “good luck” or “the tendency to make fortunate discoveries by accident.” Karma can also mean “fate” or “destiny,” but it most often refers to how one’s actions will affect what happens to them.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to kismet?

  • kismat (alternate spelling)

What are some synonyms for kismet?

What are some words that often get used in discussing kismet?

What are some words kismet may be commonly confused with?

How is kismet used in real life?

Kismet is sometimes used in a way that’s intended to give a heightened sense of divinity to what’s being described as fate.



Try using kismet!

Which of the following situations is most likely to be described as having happened due to kismet?

A. Finding your favorite flavor of ice cream at the grocery store
B. Having the book you’re reading remind you of an old friend and then seeing that friend at the library while returning the book
C. Getting paid on payday
D. Getting a promotion that you worked hard for

How to use kismet in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for kismet

/ (ˈkɪzmɛt, ˈkɪs-) /

Islam the will of Allah
fate or destiny

Word Origin for kismet

C19: from Turkish, from Persian qismat, from Arabic qasama he divided
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