Definition of fate in English:

fate

noun

  • 1mass noun The development of events outside a person's control, regarded as predetermined by a supernatural power.

    ‘fate decided his course for him’
    ‘his injury is a cruel twist of fate’
    • ‘Then in a twist of fate her eye's are raised, they meet mine and I can feel all my insides turn to jelly.’
    • ‘Yet by an ironic twist of fate he is blind to the world around him, losing Dot, who is expecting his child, to a pastry maker.’
    • ‘Yet in a pathetic twist of fate, John's final act was the ultimate percentage play.’
    • ‘It is a cruel twist of fate, especially with a new presidency that few expect to benefit the poorest of Americans.’
    • ‘By an ironic twist of fate, each of the four sides in the hat must face up to a derby match on the deciding Saturday.’
    • ‘In a remarkable twist of fate, they get locked in the storeroom together.’
    • ‘However, it was a cruel twist of fate that robbed him yet again of a sprint race win and, therefore, of an Irish double.’
    • ‘It was a simple twist of fate that introduced him to the chartered accountancy profession.’
    • ‘A mother has been reunited with a daughter she had not spoken to for 15 years in an amazing twist of fate.’
    • ‘Remarkably, he found the right words to comfort those affected by the cruellest twist of fate.’
    • ‘But, in a somewhat cruel twist of fate, you will also not remember to go out and buy it.’
    • ‘And from time to time, nature and fate conspire to bring a mortal down.’
    • ‘Kane understood the power of fate, and the inevitability of consequence.’
    • ‘Maybe in a strange twist of fate, Mom and Dad would be in bed sleeping.’
    • ‘A calendrical twist of fate found us celebrating Christmas this year on the middle day of December.’
    • ‘He will live on for as long as the world remains daft and cruel fate chooses to mock us all.’
    • ‘They forge a relationship based on their common sense of helplessness in the face of the overwhelming power of fate.’
    • ‘She was about to send off an application to drama school when fate intervened.’
    • ‘Sadly, in a cruel twist of fate, he was killed in a car accident just a few months later, aged just 21.’
    • ‘By a strange twist of fate, that actually is what the book was called.’
    destiny, providence, god's will, nemesis, kismet, astral influence, the stars, what is written in the stars, one's lot in life
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    1. 1.1count noun The course of someone's life, or the outcome of a situation for someone or something, seen as outside their control.
      ‘he stared at the faces of the committee, trying to guess his fate’
      • ‘He may have to live in exile from his own country, and while this is unfortunate, there are worse fates.’
      • ‘Earth would have suffered the same fate had it been just a little closer to the Sun.’
      • ‘Stock options were a way to make executives more involved with the fates of the companies.’
      • ‘Men controlled the fates of women, whose expected aim in life was to marry well.’
      • ‘While their paths diverged after 1990, their fates are entwined again this season.’
      • ‘Over 100,000 have already crossed the border into Liberia and to an uncertain fate.’
      • ‘What lies ahead then will be the struggle to avoid these two fates.’
      • ‘Besides, this is the battle that will decide the fate of our world.’
      • ‘If you were to build a snowman, it would suffer a fate worse than death.’
      • ‘Max felt that the fate of all mankind depended on this one decision.’
      • ‘He also wanted to know how many other importers have suffered a similar fate.’
      • ‘We have seen that inflation tells us nothing about the ultimate fate of the Universe.’
      • ‘We learned from past elections that the nation's fate depends on whom the people choose as the president.’
      • ‘Haven't churches, synagogues and mosques met the same fate at the hands of vandals?’
      • ‘I died a little for him that day, because I knew his fate was sealed.’
      • ‘Did they realize too, that their fates were inextricably fixed to the outcome of that day's actions?’
      • ‘Much the same fate has apparently befallen many other fairly despicable celebrities.’
      • ‘He now realized that she had saved him from a fate worse than death.’
      • ‘We understand your need for privacy, but the fate of mankind outweighs this need.’
      • ‘Such efficiency gains could play a crucial role in determining the ultimate fate of satellite broadband.’
      future, destiny, outcome, issue, upshot, end, lot, due
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    2. 1.2in singular The inescapable death of a person.
      ‘the guards led her to her fate’
      • ‘His fate, death by firing squad, would hardly seem a cause for celebration.’
      • ‘Over the next century, nine major searches added to the sense that the party had met an almost supernatural fate.’
      • ‘It's a sad tale of the fate of a whistleblower, and a dark rump of cop culture.’
      • ‘Some bodies had become tourist attractions as inquisitive locals came to view the fate of their former rulers.’
      • ‘It is easy to see that this was the logical response to the dawning realisation of death as the fate of us all.’
      • ‘Jesus is not praying to be rescued from death, for that is the fate of all human beings.’
      death, demise, end, destruction, doom
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  • 2the FatesGreek Mythology Roman Mythology
    Three goddesses who presided over the birth and life of humans. Each person's destiny was thought of as a thread spun, measured, and cut by the three Fates, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos.

    Also called Moirai and Parcae
    • ‘And the sort of Goddess which the Fates held out to me was contained in the Old Religion.’
    • ‘They're called the three Fates: The Clotho, The Lachesis and The Atropos, named after the Greek mythology.’
    • ‘The three Fates, or Moirai, were the offspring of Zeus and the Titan Themis.’
    • ‘Atropos is the name of one of the Fates, mythical beings who controlled the destinies of humans.’
    • ‘To the Greeks, your destiny was in the hands of the Fates, three heartless old women.’
    the weird sisters
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    1. 2.1the Fates
      another term for Norns

verb

be fated
  • Be destined to happen, turn out, or act in a particular way.

    with infinitive ‘the regime was fated to end badly’
    • ‘Furthermore, he was fated to do those terrible things, as oracles plainly stated at his birth.’
    • ‘But is this new vehicle of unconstrained expression fated to come under the thumb of the powers that be?’
    • ‘The result is that most urban pet dogs are fated to a caged life with little care or physical activity.’
    • ‘Vast amounts of the knowledge and creative output of the last century is fated to turn to dust; forgotten, unwanted and unknown.’
    • ‘Could the unearthing of that page really have fated this destiny for us?’
    • ‘They believe, many of them, that they are fated, or charmed, or destined to do the things they do.’
    • ‘The more famous you are now; the more obscure you are fated to be when the wheel turns through another quarter-circle.’
    • ‘Faith's just one of those character's who is fated to die.’
    • ‘I wasn't fated to run a seafood processing operation a thousand miles from anywhere.’
    • ‘But there remains someone on earth whom we are fated to love and who is fated to love us.’
    • ‘It seemed it was one of those competitions we were fated to win.’
    • ‘We are fated to live together and we must do the work of making that coexistence as painless as possible.’
    • ‘The hard choice often perplexes them and they sometimes believe the decision is fated.’
    • ‘Our political culture seems fated to return to this sore spot.’
    • ‘It is also a great New York story, a tai chi story, an accidental but somehow fated destiny.’
    • ‘It would seem that I'm fated not to work for a while yet.’
    • ‘There were thousands of books in that room, all new and almost equally fated never to be reviewed.’
    • ‘It may be that the West is fated, by its very cultural plenitude, to host some minimal number of such parasites.’
    • ‘For Ireland's most interesting local candidate, it seemed life was fated to imitate art.’
    • ‘Despite their innocent closeness, the three friends are fated to separate after a violent incident.’
    be predestined, be preordained, be foreordained, be destined, be meant, be doomed, be foredoomed, be cursed, be damned
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Phrases

  • seal someone's fate

    • Make it inevitable that something unpleasant will happen to someone.

      ‘he had cheated the boss and sealed his own fate’
      • ‘But at the end of the day he's courting his own destruction, sealing his fate.’
      • ‘But more mistakes and a first minute penalty sealed their fate.’
      • ‘I had misinterpreted my own future and then taken steps towards this false future, therefore sealing my fate with Mr. Odd.’
      • ‘That inexperience combined with the fact they were playing overseas for the first time sealed their fate.’
      • ‘As she flattens her shoes on the grill, she uses the fingers of both hands to steer the skirt's folded hem forward, sealing its fate forever.’
      • ‘He seals your fate, but looks confused if you protest.’
      • ‘He then takes to visiting the mad ward daily, an act which seals his fate.’
      • ‘The fact that one of the four buildings in Broad Lane was said to be in need of serious repair, coupled with lack of room to expand the facility, is thought to have sealed their fate.’
      • ‘And once you resist their military, you're pretty much sealing your fate.’
      • ‘The little girl spins her head around devilishly to cast the finger in my direction, sealing my fate, casting me out.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Italian fato or (later) from its source, Latin fatum ‘that which has been spoken’, from fari ‘speak’.

Pronunciation

fate

/feɪt/