Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The inevitable or necessary fate to which a particular person or thing is destined; one's lot.
  • noun A predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control.
  • noun The power or agency thought to predetermine events.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An irresistible tendency of certain events to come about by force of predetermination, whatever efforts may be made to prevent them; overruling necessity; fate.
  • noun That which is predetermined and sure to come true.
  • noun That which is to become of any person or thing in the future; fortune; lot; lack: often in the plural.
  • noun [capitalized] plural In classical mythology, the Fates or Parcæ; the powers supposed to preside over human life. See fate.
  • noun Synonyms Destiny, Fate, Doom. Fate is stronger than destiny, and less the appointment of a personal being or other discernible cause; but the words are often used interchangeably. Doom is an unhappy destiny.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun That to which any person or thing is destined; predetermined state; condition foreordained by the Divine or by human will; fate; lot; doom.
  • noun The fixed order of things; invincible necessity; fate; a resistless power or agency conceived of as determining the future, whether in general or of an individual.
  • noun (Anc. Myth.) the three Parcæ, or Fates; the supposed powers which preside over human life, and determine its circumstances and duration.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun That to which any person or thing is destined; a predetermined state; a condition foreordained by the Divine or by human will; fate; lot; doom.
  • noun The fixed order of things; invincible necessity; fate; an irresistible power or agency conceived of as determining the future, whether in general or of an individual.

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English destine, from Old French destinee, from feminine past participle of destiner, to destine, from Latin dēstināre, to determine; see stā- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French destinee.

Examples

Comments

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  • I'm not sure how 'any entity that produces an effect or is responsible for events or results' can qualify as a destiny, but it makes Nietzsche's 'Why I Am a Destiny' look less egomaniacal.

    February 6, 2008

  • "What do I know about man's destiny? I could tell you more about radishes."

    - Samuel Beckett.

    May 23, 2009