causing or capable of causing death; mortal; deadly: a fatal accident; a fatal dose of poison.
causing destruction, misfortune, ruin, or failure: The withdrawal of funds was fatal to the project.
decisively important; fateful: The fatal day finally arrived.
proceeding from or decreed by fate; inevitable: a fatal series of events.
influencing or concerned with fate; fatalistic.
Obsolete, doomed.
Obsolete, prophetic.

1350–1400; Middle English (< Old French) < Latin fātālis of fate. See fate, -al1

fatalness, noun
nonfatal, adjective
nonfatally, adverb
nonfatalness, noun
quasi-fatal, adjective
quasi-fatally, adverb

fatal, fateful, fetal (see synonym study at the current entry).

1. Fatal, deadly, lethal, mortal apply to something that has caused or is capable of causing death. Fatal may refer to either the future or the past; in either case, it emphasizes inevitability and the inescapable—the disastrous, whether death or dire misfortune: The accident was fatal. Such a mistake would be fatal. Deadly looks to the future, and suggests that which is likely to cause death (though not inevitably so): a deadly poison, disease. Like deadly, lethal looks to the future but, like many other words of Latin origin, suggests a more technical usage: a lethal dose; a gas that is lethal. Mortal looks to the past and refers to death that has actually occurred: He received a mortal wound. The disease proved to be mortal. 2. ruinous, disastrous, calamitous, catastrophic, devastating. 4. predestined, foreordained.

1. life-giving.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fatal (ˈfeɪtəl)
1.  resulting in or capable of causing death: a fatal accident
2.  bringing ruin; disastrous
3.  decisively important; fateful
4.  decreed by fate; destined; inevitable
[C14: from Old French fatal or Latin fātālis, from fātum, see fate]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "decreed by fate," from L. fatalis "ordained by fate," from fatum (see fate); sense of "causing death" is early 15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

fatal fa·tal (fāt'l)
Causing or capable of causing death.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Computing Dictionary

fatal definition

Resulting in termination of the program.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
It is so important to be well informed and educated on this rare disease that
  could be potentially fatal.
Researchers track the cause of a rare but fatal form of insomnia.
Global warming may damage health and cause fatal disease.
She belongs to a family carrying the gene for fatal familial insomnia.
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