Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events.
  • n. The inevitable events predestined by this force.
  • n. A final result or consequence; an outcome.
  • n. Unfavorable destiny; doom.
  • n. Greek & Roman Mythology The three goddesses, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, who control human destiny. Used with the.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The cause, force, principle, or divine will that predetermines events.
  • n. The effect, consequence, outcome, or inevitable events predetermined by this cause.
  • n. Destiny (perhaps connotes death, ruin, misfortune, etc.).
  • n. The three goddesses (The Fates) of classic European mythology who are said to control the fate of human beings.
  • v. To foreordain or predetermine, to make inevitable.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A fixed decree by which the order of things is prescribed; the immutable law of the universe; inevitable necessity; the force by which all existence is determined and conditioned.
  • n. Appointed lot; allotted life; arranged or predetermined event; destiny; especially, the final lot; doom; ruin; death.
  • n. The element of chance in the affairs of life; the unforeseen and unestimated conitions considered as a force shaping events; fortune; esp., opposing circumstances against which it is useless to struggle.
  • n. The three goddesses, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, sometimes called the Destinies, or Parcæwho were supposed to determine the course of human life. They are represented, one as holding the distaff, a second as spinning, and the third as cutting off the thread.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Primarily, a prophetic declaration of what must be; a divine decree or a fixed sentence by which the order of things is prescribed; hence, that which is inevitably predetermined; destiny ordained and unalterable; that which must be, in spite of all opposing forces. See fatality.
  • n. That which comes from necessity or the force of circumstances; an inevitable course or event; hence, fortune, lot, or destiny in general: as, it was his fate to be betrayed by his party.
  • n. Final event; death; destruction.
  • n. A cause of death and destruction.
  • n. [capitalized] [L. Fatum, usually in pl. Fata; Gr. Μοῖρα, pl. Μοῖραι.] In Greek and Roman mythology, destiny: usually in the plural, the Destinies, goddesses supposed to preside over the birth, life, and death of human beings. They were three in number, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. Also called, in Latin, Parcæ.
  • n. Synonyms 1 and 2. Doom, etc. See destiny.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the ultimate agency regarded as predetermining the course of events (often personified as a woman)
  • n. your overall circumstances or condition in life (including everything that happens to you)
  • v. decree or designate beforehand
  • n. an event (or a course of events) that will inevitably happen in the future

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French fat, from Latin fātum, prophecy, doom, from neuter past participle of fārī, to speak.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin fata ("prediction") (neutral plural of fatum), fatus 'spoken', fari ("to speak"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • DRAG ME TO HELL (May 29), a loan officer suffers the title fate after evicting an old woman; Alison Lohman and Justin Long star.

    Boston Phoenix - thePhoenix.com

  • Freeman creates a world where asking about your fate is almost like going out for a beer and accepting the answer you get is the most logical thing to do.

    Pamela Freeman - Blood Ties (Book Review)

  • To see the memorable characters of Star Trek, Galactica, and Aliens suffer this fate is an atrocity.

    Vile...Malevolent...Adorable!

  • Through the body of the story, we will see how his fate is achieved.

    Terminator Salvation trailer thoughts to HQ screen captures and set reports

  • It the indoctrination at a young age to accept her fate is the abuse I'm referring to, a point you keep avoiding. for the last time, is that indoctrination wrong or not?

    The Memory Hole

  • This site urges the government (as well as individual American citizens) to continue the vigil for Maupin until his fate is an absolute certainty.

    Keith "Matt" Maupin

  • While the team's short-term fate is far from certain, its future remains even more unclear.

    USATODAY.com - National League

  • I have no more influence with him, and can no more affect his doings, or what you call his fate — and, to say the truth, care about them no more than the child unborn.

    Wylder's Hand

  • This fate is an inherently superior power ( "eine Übermacht"), a power against which the hero fights ( "kämpft"), but in the face of which he could never hope to be successful (192-93).

    Tragedy and the War of the Aesthetic

  • While these things, which constitute what we call fate, are inevitable and therefore cannot be avoided, it rests with ourselves how we meet these adversities and disasters.

    Within You is the Power

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Comments

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  • The future was with Fate. The present was our own.
    -The Poison Belt by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    August 1, 2009

  • "Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him."
    - Groucho Marx.

    December 24, 2007