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[fey-tal-i-tee, fuh-] /feɪˈtæl ɪ ti, fə-/
noun, plural fatalities.
a disaster resulting in death.
a death resulting from such an occurrence:
a rise in highway fatalities.
the quality of causing death or disaster; a fatal influence; deadliness.
predetermined liability to disaster, misfortune, etc.:
a fatality for saying the wrong thing.
the quality of being predetermined by or subject to fate:
There is a fatality in human affairs that leads to destruction.
the fate or destiny of a person or thing:
Death is the ultimate fatality of all human beings.
a fixed, unalterably predetermined course of things; inevitability:
to resign oneself to the fatality of life.
Origin of fatality
1480-90; < Late Latin fātālitās. See fatal, -ity
Related forms
nonfatality, noun, plural nonfatalities. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fatality
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It points either to the fact of more careful returns having been made, or to an actual increase in the fatality of the disorder.

    Parasites T. Spencer Cobbold
  • It is a fatality rather than a triumph to have undergone such a change.

    The Industries of Animals Frdric Houssay
  • It had a quality of sober and buoyant alertness and fatality of determination rather than rigid confidence.

    The Last Shot Frederick Palmer
  • The Rita that haunted me had no history; she was but the principle of life charged with fatality.

    The Arrow of Gold Joseph Conrad
  • It has happened to us by a kind of fatality, that in all important wars we have been victorious, after having been defeated.

  • It minimizes the evil and fatality of war, in which every life and every wound must be paid for.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • For, as the most vigilant watchmen of their day, the prophets observed the rise of that empire, and felt its fatality for Israel.

British Dictionary definitions for fatality


noun (pl) -ties
an accident or disaster resulting in death
a person killed in an accident or disaster
the power of causing death or disaster; deadliness
the quality or condition of being fated
something caused or dictated by fate
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 fatality

late 15c., "quality of causing death," from French fatalité, from Late Latin fatalitatem (nominative fatalitas), from Latin fatalis (see fatal). Senses in 16c.-17c. included "determined by fate" and "a destiny." Meaning "an occurrence resulting in widespread death" is from 1840. Related: Fatalities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fatality in Medicine

fatality fa·tal·i·ty (fā-tāl'ĭ-tē, fə-)

  1. A death resulting from an accident or a disaster.

  2. One that is killed as a result of such an occurrence.

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