Hypertext Webster Gateway: "fate"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Fate \Fate\, n. [L. fatum a prophetic declaration, oracle, what
is ordained by the gods, destiny, fate, fr. fari to speak:
cf. OF. fat. See {Fame}, {Fable}, {Ban}, and cf. 1st {Fay},
1. A fixed decree by which the order of things is prescribed;
the immutable law of the universe; inevitable necessity;
the force by which all existence is determined and

Necessity and chance Approach not me; and what I
will is fate. --Milton.

Beyond and above the Olympian gods lay the silent,
brooding, everlasting fate of which victim and
tyrant were alike the instruments. --Froude.

2. Appointed lot; allotted life; arranged or predetermined
event; destiny; especially, the final lot; doom; ruin;

The great, th'important day, big with the fate Of
Cato and of Rome. --Addison.

Our wills and fates do so contrary run That our
devices still are overthrown. --Shak.

The whizzing arrow sings, And bears thy fate,
Antinous, on its wings. --Pope.

3. The element of chance in the affairs of life; the
unforeseen and unestimated conitions considered as a force
shaping events; fortune; esp., opposing circumstances
against which it is useless to struggle; as, fate was, or
the fates were, against him.

A brave man struggling in the storms of fate.

Sometimes an hour of Fate's serenest weather strikes
through our changeful sky its coming beams. --B.

4. pl. [L. Fata, pl. of fatum.] (Myth.) The three goddesses,
Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, sometimes called the
{Destinies}, or {Parc[ae]}who were supposed to determine
the course of human life. They are represented, one as
holding the distaff, a second as spinning, and the third
as cutting off the thread.

Note: Among all nations it has been common to speak of fate
or destiny as a power superior to gods and men --
swaying all things irresistibly. This may be called the
fate of poets and mythologists. Philosophical fate is
the sum of the laws of the universe, the product of
eternal intelligence and the blind properties of
matter. Theological fate represents Deity as above the
laws of nature, and ordaining all things according to
his will -- the expression of that will being the law.

Syn: Destiny; lot; doom; fortune; chance.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

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" [syn: {fortune}, {destiny}, {luck},
{lot}, {circumstances}, {portion}]
v : decree or designate beforehand; "She was destined to become
a great pianist" [syn: {destine}, {doom}, {designate}]

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