American English

Definition of fate noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] the things, especially bad things, that will happen or have happened to someone or something The fate of the three men is unknown. She sat outside, waiting to find out her fate. The court will decide our fate/fates. Each of the managers suffered the same fate. The government had abandoned the refugees to their fate. From that moment ,our fate was sealed (= our future was decided).
  2. 2[uncountable] the power that is believed to control everything that happens and that cannot be stopped or changed Fate was kind to me that day. By a strange twist of fate, Andy and I were on the same plane. Thesaurusluckchance coincidence accident fate destinyThese are all words for things that happen or the force that causes them to happen.luck the force that causes good or bad things to happen to people:This ring has always brought me good luck.chance the way that some things happen without any cause that you can see or understand:The results could simply be due to chance.coincidence the fact of two things happening at the same time by chance, in a surprising way:They met through a series of strange coincidences.accident something that happens unexpectedly and is not planned in advance:I discovered the book by accident while shopping for a birthday present.fate the power that is believed to control everything that happens and that cannot be stopped or changed:Fate decreed that she would not get married that day.destiny the power that is believed to control events:I believe there's some force guiding us—call it God, destiny, or fate.fate or destiny?Fate can be kind, but this is an unexpected gift; just as often, fate is cruel and makes people feel helpless. Destiny is more likely to give people a sense of power: people who have a strong sense of destiny usually believe that they are meant to be great or do great things.Patterns by …luck/chance/coincidence/accident It's no coincidence/accident >that…> pure/sheer luck/chance/coincidence/accident to believe in luck/coincidences/fate/destiny
  3. Idioms
    a fate worse than death (often humorous)
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    a terrible thing that could happen At the last minute the hero saves her from a fate worse than death.
    to do something too confidently in a way that might mean that your good luck will come to an end She felt it would be tempting fate to try the difficult climb a second time.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: fate

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