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[feyt-l-iz-uh m] /ˈfeɪt lˌɪz əm/
the acceptance of all things and events as inevitable; submission to fate:
Her fatalism helped her to face death with stoic calm.
Philosophy. the doctrine that all events are subject to fate or inevitable predetermination.
Origin of fatalism
1670-80; fatal + -ism
Related forms
fatalist, noun
fatalistic, adjective
fatalistically, adverb
nonfatalistic, adjective
quasi-fatalistic, adjective
quasi-fatalistically, adverb
unfatalistic, adjective
unfatalistically, adverb
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fatalism
  • Our current economic discourse is pervaded by fatalism.
  • fatalism only ensures that that tide does not turn sooner.
  • Italians of all ages feel a weary fatalism after a decade of almost no economic growth.
  • And from vulnerability there has emerged a tough fatalism.
  • It went to air with this sense of fatalism on the part of the network.
  • Proliferation fatalism and deterrence optimism reinforce each other in a disturbing way.
  • Reactions to these alarming reports have varied from fatalism to urgent concern.
  • They mourn the victims of rogue crocodile attacks with grim fatalism.
  • The sheer sensory exuberance of the film at once subverts the fatalism of its story and lends it whatever credibility it has.
  • Charities are striving to turn around such fatalism.
British Dictionary definitions for fatalism


the philosophical doctrine that all events are predetermined so that man is powerless to alter his destiny
the acceptance of and submission to this doctrine
a lack of effort or action in the face of difficulty
Derived Forms
fatalist, noun
fatalistic, adjective
fatalistically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fatalism

1670s, from fatal + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fatalism in Culture

fatalism definition

The belief that events are determined by an impersonal fate and cannot be changed by human beings. Fatalism is a form of determinism.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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