Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "fatal" []

  • Causing or capable of causing death. (adjective)
  • Causing ruin or destruction; disastrous: "Such doctrines, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory” ( Charles Darwin). (adjective)
  • Of decisive importance; fateful: came through at the fatal moment. (adjective)
  • Concerning or determining one's fate: the fatal thread of life. (adjective)
  • Obsolete Having been destined; fated. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "fatal" in a sentence
  • "This is what I call a fatal flaw for this candidate."
  • "Cardinal, accused him of prevarication and weakness, and threw himself at her Majesty's feet, conjuring her in the name of the King her son, not to authorise, by an example which he called fatal, the insolence of a subject who was for wresting favours from his sovereign, sword in hand."
  • "Prescott 12.195 reports a case of what he calls fatal colic from the lodgment of a chocolate-nut in the appendix; and Noyes 12.196 relates an instance of death in a man of thirty-one attributed to the presence of a raisin-seed in the vermiform appendix."