Definition of fatality in English:



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

    ‘shooting was heard and there were fatalities’
    • ‘In the last five years, however, that average has jumped to 28 avalanche fatalities per year.’
    • ‘The death is the latest in a string of workplace fatalities in New Zealand.’
    • ‘Conversely, only 5 percent of the fatalities resulted from accidents that occurred at cruising altitudes.’
    • ‘I have been looking at the accident statistics and have found out that many of the fatalities have nothing to do with speed.’
    • ‘The stretch of road where the accident happened has been the scene of other fatalities over recent years.’
    • ‘In contrast, road accident fatalities only occur because of an unexpected event.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Speaking of fatalities caused by friendly fire, she said questions are always raised about how they could be avoided.’
    • ‘Future fatalities and accidents can be avoided, so when can the improvement work start?’
    • ‘About three dozen boating fatalities per year involve waterfowl hunters.’
    • ‘Many fatalities occurred as a result of mudslides in deforested areas.’
    • ‘As this natural weather phenomenon becomes more violent, more and more fatalities will occur.’
    • ‘Apart from the two fatalities, there have been two serious injury accidents and four minor collisions.’
    • ‘I can barely think of any main road in our city which is not blighted by accidents and fatalities.’
    • ‘The hill has been the scene of several serious accidents in recent months, including a number of fatalities.’
    • ‘Machinery is still the main cause of serious injuries and fatalities on farms.’
    • ‘Nineteen percent of USA road fatalities occur on low-volume roads.’
    • ‘He also notes that in the last 10 years, most avalanche fatalities have involved skiers.’
    death, casualty, mortality, victim, loss, dead person
    fatal accident, tragedy, disaster, catastrophe, calamity
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A person killed by accident, war, or disease.
      ‘news reports said one of the fatalities was an eight-year-old boy’
      • ‘So far this year, according to the International Shark Attack file, there have been 18 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide, resulting in one fatality.’
      • ‘There has been one fatality, two people seriously injured and three walking wounded.’
      • ‘The cause of Friday's fatality, which brought to nineteen the number of people killed during construction projects this year, is currently being investigated by the Health and Safety Authority.’
      • ‘‘They are drinking to excess - it is only a matter of time before there is the possibility of another fatality,’ he said.’
      • ‘A 40-year-old truck driver has become the country's latest road fatality.’
      • ‘Why do the police not even keep statistics on the number of traffic accident fatalities who were not wearing seatbelts?’
      • ‘With a fatality rate similar to that of SARS it could easily kill one percent of the total population.’
      • ‘There are more risks at this time and sadly we have already seen one fatality.’
      • ‘It's the highest level of Ecstasy in any fatality ever recorded.’
      • ‘‘Overall there's generally a downward trend but our view is that one fatality is one too many,’ said the inspector.’
      • ‘Judo choking techniques have been used in Judo classes and at thousands of Judo tournaments all over the world for more than 100 years without one reported fatality.’
      • ‘But unless something's done soon there will be another fatality.’
      • ‘The outbreak, which caused its first fatality last November, has been kept very hush hush by the Chinese.’
      • ‘The £170,000 project is a response to 64 accidents on the estates in the past five years, resulting in one fatality and 10 serious injuries.’
      • ‘Last year, seven of the 14 fatalities on farms were also over the same age.’
      • ‘‘We've only had one fatality in three months,’ he said.’
      • ‘Over the past two years, at least 100 construction workers have been killed nationally - an average of one fatality every week.’
      • ‘Kyra, we can tell you there is now one confirmed fatality, a body that has been found at the house.’
      • ‘That's about 1 fatality per 15 trillion km traveled.’
      • ‘There are no reliable casualty figures and no reports on the number of civilian fatalities.’
  • 2Helplessness in the face of fate.

    ‘the plot needs a darker sense of fatality to cover its absurdities’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They address matters of fate, fatality and finality with yet more weight and wit.’
    • ‘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.’


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.