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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
  • The pecking order can get so crazy that you end up with a fatality.
  • Whenever a shark-caused human fatality occurs, it makes headline news.
  • The first fatality involving a civilian drone has already occurred.
  • There is no fatality about the given effects of what appears a natural advance to any specific technology.
  • They concluded that if you were being shot at from directly overhead, it'd take eight feet of water to elude fatality.
  • But now also the psychological fatality of ambivalence demands its rights.
  • Scientists are puzzled by the epidemic's remarkably high fatality rate.
  • If the virus were to spread to industrialized nations, the fatality rate might well be lower.
  • Last year's fall was partly owing to new safety procedures, which helped reduce the industry's fatality rate.
  • But because a large proportion of the population would be vulnerable, even a low fatality rate could mean millions of deaths.
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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