1. having momentous significance or consequences; decisively important; portentous: a fateful meeting between the leaders of the two countries.
  2. fatal, deadly, or disastrous.
  3. controlled or determined by destiny; inexorable.
  4. prophetic; ominous.


  1. having important consequences; decisively important
  2. bringing death or disaster
  3. controlled by or as if by fate
  4. prophetic

1710s, “prophetic,” from fate + -ful. Meaning “of momentous consequences” is from c.1800. Related: Fatefully.

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