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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The doctrine of Necessity is, in all essential particulars, identical with fatalism in its worst form.

  • The unexpected march of events had converted him to the doctrine of fatalism.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • The fatalism of Islam was a fruitful source of devices for winning foreknowledge.

  • In other words, you yield to what Mr. Bryce calls "the fatalism of the multitude."

    The American Mind Bliss Perry
  • He says, suppose a child to be educated from his earliest youth in the principles of "fatalism," what then?

  • Her magnanimity, he tells us, is unexampled, and her fatalism pathetic.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • fatalism being their mother's last argument and always final, the children gave up.

    The Street of Seven Stars Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • The fatalism that was her mood so often now told her that these things had to be.

    Audrey Craven May Sinclair
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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