Definition of fate in English:

fate

noun

  • 1[mass 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’
    • ‘Maybe in a strange twist of fate, Mom and Dad would be in bed sleeping.’
    • ‘Then in a twist of fate her eye's are raised, they meet mine and I can feel all my insides turn to jelly.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Kane understood the power of fate, and the inevitability of consequence.’
    • ‘And from time to time, nature and fate conspire to bring a mortal down.’
    • ‘She was about to send off an application to drama school when fate intervened.’
    • ‘By a strange twist of fate, that actually is what the book was called.’
    • ‘Yet in a pathetic twist of fate, John's final act was the ultimate percentage play.’
    • ‘They forge a relationship based on their common sense of helplessness in the face of the overwhelming power of fate.’
    • ‘But, in a somewhat cruel twist of fate, you will also not remember to go out and buy it.’
    • ‘Remarkably, he found the right words to comfort those affected by the cruellest twist of fate.’
    • ‘He will live on for as long as the world remains daft and cruel fate chooses to mock us all.’
    • ‘However, it was a cruel twist of fate that robbed him yet again of a sprint race win and, therefore, of an Irish double.’
    • ‘In a remarkable twist of fate, they get locked in the storeroom together.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is a cruel twist of fate, especially with a new presidency that few expect to benefit the poorest of Americans.’
    • ‘A calendrical twist of fate found us celebrating Christmas this year on the middle day of December.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sadly, in a cruel twist of fate, he was killed in a car accident just a few months later, aged just 21.’
    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. 1.1[count 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Much the same fate has apparently befallen many other fairly despicable celebrities.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Stock options were a way to make executives more involved with the fates of the companies.’
      • ‘I died a little for him that day, because I knew his fate was sealed.’
      • ‘Such efficiency gains could play a crucial role in determining the ultimate fate of satellite broadband.’
      • ‘What lies ahead then will be the struggle to avoid these two fates.’
      • ‘He now realized that she had saved him from a fate worse than death.’
      • ‘Men controlled the fates of women, whose expected aim in life was to marry well.’
      • ‘Haven't churches, synagogues and mosques met the same fate at the hands of vandals?’
      • ‘We understand your need for privacy, but the fate of mankind outweighs this need.’
      • ‘Did they realize too, that their fates were inextricably fixed to the outcome of that day's actions?’
      • ‘We learned from past elections that the nation's fate depends on whom the people choose as the president.’
      • ‘Max felt that the fate of all mankind depended on this one decision.’
      • ‘Earth would have suffered the same fate had it been just a little closer to the Sun.’
      future, destiny, outcome, issue, upshot, end, lot, due
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    2. 1.2[in 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's a sad tale of the fate of a whistleblower, and a dark rump of cop culture.’
      • ‘Over the next century, nine major searches added to the sense that the party had met an almost supernatural fate.’
      • ‘Some bodies had become tourist attractions as inquisitive locals came to view the fate of their former rulers.’
      death, demise, end, destruction, doom
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  • 2Roman Mythology Greek
    The three goddesses who preside over the birth and life of humans. Each person was thought of as a spindle, around which the three Fates (Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos) would spin the thread of human destiny.

    • ‘To the Greeks, your destiny was in the hands of the Fates, three heartless old women.’
    • ‘They're called the three Fates: The Clotho, The Lachesis and The Atropos, named after the Greek mythology.’
    • ‘Atropos is the name of one of the Fates, mythical beings who controlled the destinies of humans.’
    • ‘And the sort of Goddess which the Fates held out to me was contained in the Old Religion.’
    • ‘The three Fates, or Moirai, were the offspring of Zeus and the Titan Themis.’
    the weird sisters
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    1. 2.1
      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’
    • ‘It may be that the West is fated, by its very cultural plenitude, to host some minimal number of such parasites.’
    • ‘It is also a great New York story, a tai chi story, an accidental but somehow fated destiny.’
    • ‘But there remains someone on earth whom we are fated to love and who is fated to love us.’
    • ‘I wasn't fated to run a seafood processing operation a thousand miles from anywhere.’
    • ‘For Ireland's most interesting local candidate, it seemed life was fated to imitate art.’
    • ‘It would seem that I'm fated not to work for a while yet.’
    • ‘The more famous you are now; the more obscure you are fated to be when the wheel turns through another quarter-circle.’
    • ‘Could the unearthing of that page really have fated this destiny for us?’
    • ‘The hard choice often perplexes them and they sometimes believe the decision is fated.’
    • ‘It seemed it was one of those competitions we were fated to win.’
    • ‘Furthermore, he was fated to do those terrible things, as oracles plainly stated at his birth.’
    • ‘Despite their innocent closeness, the three friends are fated to separate after a violent incident.’
    • ‘We are fated to live together and we must do the work of making that coexistence as painless as possible.’
    • ‘They believe, many of them, that they are fated, or charmed, or destined to do the things they do.’
    • ‘Vast amounts of the knowledge and creative output of the last century is fated to turn to dust; forgotten, unwanted and unknown.’
    • ‘Our political culture seems fated to return to this sore spot.’
    • ‘The result is that most urban pet dogs are fated to a caged life with little care or physical activity.’
    • ‘There were thousands of books in that room, all new and almost equally fated never to be reviewed.’
    • ‘Faith's just one of those character's who is fated to die.’
    • ‘But is this new vehicle of unconstrained expression fated to come under the thumb of the powers that be?’
    be predestined, be preordained, be foreordained, be destined, be meant, be doomed, be foredoomed, be cursed, be damned
    be sure, be certain, be bound, be guaranteed
    be inevitable, be inescapable, be ineluctable
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Phrases

  • a fate worse than death

    • A terrible experience:

      ‘are you going to buy me a drink as well as rescuing me from a fate worse than death?’
      • ‘Positive attention from admiration is fine by me, but having pushy people constantly invading my privacy in the name of admiration is a fate worse than death.’
      • ‘To me, failing at this calling when challenged would be a fate worse than death.’
      • ‘If you haven't, then I look forward to reading your email message categorically listing the 39 reasons why I have let you down and how I deserve a fate worse than death.’
      • ‘Treves rescues Merrick from a fate worse than death as he is attacked by a ravenous crowd at Liverpool Street station.’
      • ‘Another option is to move back in with my parents, which quite frankly would be a fate worse than death.’
      • ‘Self-doubt in a self-knowledge paradigm is a fate worse than death, because without a ground of being, one cannot protect oneself from attacks whether they be emotional, cultural, or economic.’
      • ‘Losing those would be a fate worse than death I assure you!’
      • ‘Cara nodded again, as though resigning herself to a fate worse than death.’
      • ‘The idea of working desk duty was like a fate worse than death.’
      • ‘Perhaps the endless waiting and not knowing is literally a fate worse than death.’
      • ‘His point, as I pretended intense interest with my gaping pig imitation, was that without organized crime you'd be stuck with disorganized crime, a fate worse than death.’
      • ‘Why is it considered a fate worse than death to stay at home and rear children?’
      • ‘It'd be a fate worse than death, a bit like being kept comatose on life support for decades: yes, technically you're alive, but it's no life at all.’
      • ‘Her last thought was that she had saved her son from a fate worse than death.’
      • ‘For to cut off the limbs of people whose labour on the land gives them both a livelihood and a sense of belonging is to inflict on them a fate worse than death.’
      • ‘Many people regard stroke as a fate worse than death - and with good reason.’
      • ‘I sense no treachery in your word, but know if you betray me, you shall suffer a fate worse than death.’
      • ‘A group of brilliant artists were forced to be locked for months in the same office space as me - a fate worse than death.’
      • ‘Still a bit dazed, she remembered being thrown into the wall, then saved from a fate worse than death, but then she remembered the face.’
  • seal someone's fate

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

      ‘he had cheated the boss and sealed his own 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 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.’
      • ‘But more mistakes and a first minute penalty sealed their fate.’
      • ‘But at the end of the day he's courting his own destruction, sealing his fate.’
      • ‘That inexperience combined with the fact they were playing overseas for the first time sealed their fate.’
      • ‘The little girl spins her head around devilishly to cast the finger in my direction, sealing my fate, casting me out.’
      • ‘I had misinterpreted my own future and then taken steps towards this false future, therefore sealing my fate with Mr. Odd.’
      • ‘He seals your fate, but looks confused if you protest.’
      • ‘And once you resist their military, you're pretty much sealing your fate.’

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/