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’
    • ‘Conversely, only 5 percent of the fatalities resulted from accidents that occurred at cruising altitudes.’
    • ‘Future fatalities and accidents can be avoided, so when can the improvement work start?’
    • ‘Speaking of fatalities caused by friendly fire, she said questions are always raised about how they could be avoided.’
    • ‘Machinery is still the main cause of serious injuries and fatalities on farms.’
    • ‘The stretch of road where the accident happened has been the scene of other fatalities over recent years.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I can barely think of any main road in our city which is not blighted by accidents and fatalities.’
    • ‘In contrast, road accident fatalities only occur because of an unexpected event.’
    • ‘As this natural weather phenomenon becomes more violent, more and more fatalities will occur.’
    • ‘About three dozen boating fatalities per year involve waterfowl hunters.’
    • ‘He also notes that in the last 10 years, most avalanche fatalities have involved skiers.’
    • ‘Apart from the two fatalities, there have been two serious injury accidents and four minor collisions.’
    • ‘In the last five years, however, that average has jumped to 28 avalanche fatalities per year.’
    • ‘The hill has been the scene of several serious accidents in recent months, including a number of fatalities.’
    • ‘Many fatalities occurred as a result of mudslides in deforested areas.’
    fatal accident, tragedy, disaster, catastrophe, calamity
    death, casualty, mortality, victim, loss, dead person
    View synonyms
  • 2[mass noun] Helplessness in the face of fate.

    ‘a sense of fatality gripped her’
    • ‘There's a certain sense of fatality to it and there's no hope for you.’
    • ‘Though this promise reeks of fatality and adolescent naïveté, it also seems more than reasonable considering the realm these young women inhabit.’
    • ‘Here-like the other sites-there was a sense of fatality about the redundancies that had occurred.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 dates from the mid 19th century.