Definition of fateful in US English:



  • Having far-reaching and often disastrous consequences or implications.

    ‘a fateful oversight’
    • ‘However, those same predictions can whip us into frenzy if the fateful deadline looms ahead.’
    • ‘It was truly difficult to express into words what she had gone through on that fateful day.’
    • ‘It was the one name that the queen was loath to hear at that fateful moment and her heart was hardened.’
    • ‘I realized many of the young men who lost their lives that fateful December were the same age as my own sons are now.’
    • ‘For many, this was the horrifying, almost fateful consequence of the life he had led.’
    • ‘On that fateful night a disastrous landslide wrecked havoc on their scenic community.’
    • ‘It's a fateful symbiosis in a downward spiral of political aspiration.’
    • ‘He took the fateful decision to jump from the dinghy and swim for the shore but did not make it, despite being a strong swimmer and fit.’
    • ‘Politically-motivated gregariousness and poor time organisation proved fateful.’
    • ‘He no longer sits up nights like he used to, but memories of the fateful decision haunt him every day.’
    • ‘At this fateful juncture in our history it is vital that we see clearly who are our enemies, and that we deal with them.’
    • ‘Fifty years after that first, fateful visit to Recreation Park, he saw silverware raised aloft.’
    • ‘This was the one time she misused her powers, and it proved to have fateful consequences.’
    • ‘After that fateful year, they made it to the finals only four times and they lost each time in a close contest.’
    • ‘Both films follow three people whose lives become entangled after a fateful accident.’
    • ‘I remember yelling at my brother in shock and disbelief that fateful April Fools' night.’
    • ‘She spoke with us about fateful encounters and the knowledge she has gleaned.’
    • ‘But one fateful night, she forgot to replace the capstone on the sacred spring.’
    • ‘Then late in the summer comes the fateful day when you discover your results.’
    • ‘It is obvious that they expect him to make a more compelling case before such a fateful juncture is reached.’
    decisive, determining, critical, crucial, pivotal
    disastrous, ruinous, calamitous, cataclysmic, devastating, destructive, tragic, awful, terrible, harmful, fatal, deadly
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