Definitions

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

  • n. The inevitable or necessary fate to which a particular person or thing is destined; one's lot.
  • n. A predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control: "Marriage and hanging go by destiny” ( Robert Burton).
  • n. The power or agency thought to predetermine events: Destiny brought them together.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. 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.
  • n. 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That to which any person or thing is destined; predetermined state; condition foreordained by the Divine or by human will; fate; lot; doom.
  • n. 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.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An irresistible tendency of certain events to come about by force of predetermination, whatever efforts may be made to prevent them; overruling necessity; fate.
  • n. That which is predetermined and sure to come true.
  • n. That which is to become of any person or thing in the future; fortune; lot; lack: often in the plural.
  • n. [capitalized] plural In classical mythology, the Fates or Parcæ; the powers supposed to preside over human life. See fate.
  • n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an event (or a course of events) that will inevitably happen in the future
  • 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)

Etymologies

Middle English destine, from Old French destinee, from feminine past participle of destiner, to destine, from Latin dēstināre, to determine.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French destinee. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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

    May 23, 2009

  • 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