a. The supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events.
b. The inevitable events predestined by this force.
2. A final result or consequence; an outcome.
3. Unfavorable destiny; doom.
4. Fates Greek & Roman Mythology The three goddesses, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, who control human destiny.
n 1: an event (or course of events) that will inevitably happen
in the future [syn: destiny]
2: the ultimate agency that predetermines the course of events
(often personified as a woman); "we are helpless in the
face of Destiny" [syn: Destiny, Fate]
3: your overall circumstances or condition in life (including
everything that happens to you): "whatever my fortune may
be"; "deserved a better fate"; "has a happy lot"; "the
luck of the Irish"; "a victim of circumstances"; "success
that was her portion"
- The inevitable or necessary fate to which a particular person or thing is destined; one's lot.
- A predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control: “Marriage and hanging go by destiny” (Robert Burton).
- The power or agency thought to predetermine events: Destiny brought them together.
Destiny vs. fate
Although the words are used interchangeably, fate and destiny are distinct things. Modern usage defines fate as a power or agency that predetermines and orders the course of events. Fate defines events as ordered or "meant to be". Fate is used in regard to the finality of events as they have worked themselves out, and that same finality is projected into the future to become the inevitability of events as they will work themselves out. Fate also has a morbid association with finality in the form of "fatality". Destiny, or fate, used in the past tense is "one's lot" and includes the sum of events leading up to a currently achieved outcome (e.g. "it was her destiny to be leader", "it was his fate to be executed"). Fate is an outcome determined by an outside agency acting upon a person or entity; but with destiny the entity is participating in achieving an outcome that is directly related to itself.