Definition of fatality in English:



  • 1An occurrence of death by accident, in war, or from disease.

    ‘80 per cent of pedestrian fatalities occur in built-up areas’
    • ‘The stretch of road where the accident happened has been the scene of other fatalities over recent years.’
    • ‘About three dozen boating fatalities per year involve waterfowl hunters.’
    • ‘Nineteen percent of USA road fatalities occur on low-volume roads.’
    • ‘I have been looking at the accident statistics and have found out that many of the fatalities have nothing to do with speed.’
    • ‘Future fatalities and accidents can be avoided, so when can the improvement work start?’
    • ‘In the last five years, however, that average has jumped to 28 avalanche fatalities per year.’
    • ‘Apart from the two fatalities, there have been two serious injury accidents and four minor collisions.’
    • ‘Speaking of fatalities caused by friendly fire, she said questions are always raised about how they could be avoided.’
    • ‘He also notes that in the last 10 years, most avalanche fatalities have involved skiers.’
    • ‘The death is the latest in a string of workplace fatalities in New Zealand.’
    • ‘Still, I have some issues with the way the book glamourises a way of life and a professional culture that led to so many fatalities.’
    • ‘Many fatalities occurred as a result of mudslides in deforested areas.’
    • ‘Conversely, only 5 percent of the fatalities resulted from accidents that occurred at cruising altitudes.’
    • ‘The hill has been the scene of several serious accidents in recent months, including a number of fatalities.’
    • ‘In contrast, road accident fatalities only occur because of an unexpected event.’
    • ‘Machinery is still the main cause of serious injuries and fatalities on farms.’
    • ‘As this natural weather phenomenon becomes more violent, more and more fatalities will occur.’
    • ‘I can barely think of any main road in our city which is not blighted by accidents and fatalities.’
    death, casualty, mortality, victim, loss, dead person
    fatal accident, tragedy, disaster, catastrophe, calamity
    View synonyms
  • 2mass noun Helplessness in the face of fate.

    ‘a sense of fatality gripped her’
    • ‘Here-like the other sites-there was a sense of fatality about the redundancies that had occurred.’
    • ‘Though this promise reeks of fatality and adolescent naïveté, it also seems more than reasonable considering the realm these young women inhabit.’
    • ‘His literary instrument hacks deep into the malignancy eating away at our society, but still the tumour continues to grow, feeding on pessimism, fatality and dark, dark satire.’
    • ‘There's a certain sense of fatality to it and there's no hope for you.’
    • ‘They address matters of fate, fatality and finality with yet more weight and wit.’


Late 15th century (denoting the quality of causing death or disaster): from French fatalité or late Latin fatalitas, from Latin fatalis ‘decreed by fate’, from fatum (see fate). fatality (sense 1) dates from the mid 19th century.