Definition of fatal adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈfeɪtl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfeɪtl//
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  1. 1causing or ending in death a fatal accident/blow/illness a potentially fatal form of cancer If she gets ill again it could prove fatal. compare mortal
  2. 2causing disaster or failure a fatal error/mistake Any delay would be fatal. There was a fatal flaw in the plan. It'd be fatal to try and stop them now.
  3. Word Originlate Middle English (in the senses ‘destined by fate’ and ‘ominous’): from Old French, or from Latin fatalis, from fatum ‘that which has been spoken’, from fari ‘speak’.Extra examples He has not driven since his nearly fatal accident earlier this year. Her disregard of this advice was ultimately fatal. Tax increases have proved fatal to the nation’s business community. The disease is potentially fatal. This kind of accident is almost always fatal for the pilot. a chemical which is invariably fatal to small mammals a possibly fatal setback to his plans He suffered fatal injuries when he was struck by a car. If she gets ill again it could prove fatal. Most farmers are alert to the potentially fatal consequences of an overturning tractor. They were involved in a fatal accident.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: fatal