1. The supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events: Fate did not favor his career.
a. The inevitable events predestined by this force: It was her fate to marry a lout.
b. A final result or consequence; an outcome: What was the fate of your project?
c. An unfavorable outcome in life; doom or death: suffered a fate worse than death; the island where the explorer met his fate.
3. Fates Greek & Roman Mythology The three goddesses, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, who control human destiny. Used with the.
[Middle English, from Old French fat, from Latin fātum, prophecy, doom, from neuter past participle of fārī, to speak; see bhā-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.