Definition of fatality in English:



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

    ‘shooting was heard and there were fatalities’
    • ‘About three dozen boating fatalities per year involve waterfowl hunters.’
    • ‘The stretch of road where the accident happened has been the scene of other fatalities over recent years.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Speaking of fatalities caused by friendly fire, she said questions are always raised about how they could be avoided.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He also notes that in the last 10 years, most avalanche fatalities have involved skiers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The death is the latest in a string of workplace fatalities in New Zealand.’
    • ‘Future fatalities and accidents can be avoided, so when can the improvement work start?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Nineteen percent of USA road fatalities occur on low-volume roads.’
    • ‘Many fatalities occurred as a result of mudslides in deforested areas.’
    • ‘I have been looking at the accident statistics and have found out that many of the fatalities have nothing to do with speed.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘A 40-year-old truck driver has become the country's latest road fatality.’
      • ‘‘They are drinking to excess - it is only a matter of time before there is the possibility of another fatality,’ he said.’
      • ‘It's the highest level of Ecstasy in any fatality ever recorded.’
      • ‘‘We've only had one fatality in three months,’ he said.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Over the past two years, at least 100 construction workers have been killed nationally - an average of one fatality every week.’
      • ‘The outbreak, which caused its first fatality last November, has been kept very hush hush by the Chinese.’
      • ‘There has been one fatality, two people seriously injured and three walking wounded.’
      • ‘But unless something's done soon there will be another fatality.’
      • ‘Last year, seven of the 14 fatalities on farms were also over the same age.’
      • ‘Why do the police not even keep statistics on the number of traffic accident fatalities who were not wearing seatbelts?’
      • ‘So far this year, according to the International Shark Attack file, there have been 18 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide, resulting in one fatality.’
      • ‘That's about 1 fatality per 15 trillion km traveled.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There are more risks at this time and sadly we have already seen one fatality.’
      • ‘Kyra, we can tell you there is now one confirmed fatality, a body that has been found at the house.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘There are no reliable casualty figures and no reports on the number of civilian fatalities.’
      • ‘With a fatality rate similar to that of SARS it could easily kill one percent of the total population.’
  • 2Helplessness in the face of fate.

    ‘the plot needs a darker sense of fatality to cover its absurdities’
    • ‘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 (sense 1) dates from the mid 19th century.