1. Vitally affecting subsequent events; being of great consequence; momentous: a fateful decision to counterattack.
2. Controlled by or as if by fate; predetermined.
3. Bringing death or disaster; fatal.
4. Ominously prophetic; portentous: a fateful sign.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.