fate


fate
/fayt/, n., v., fated, fating.
n.
1. something that unavoidably befalls a person; fortune; lot: It is always his fate to be left behind.
2. the universal principle or ultimate agency by which the order of things is presumably prescribed; the decreed cause of events; time: Fate decreed that they would never meet again.
3. that which is inevitably predetermined; destiny: Death is our ineluctable fate.
4. a prophetic declaration of what must be: The oracle pronounced their fate.
5. death, destruction, or ruin.
6. the Fates, Class. Myth. the three goddesses of destiny, known to the Greeks as the Moerae and to the Romans as the Parcae.
v.t.
7. to predetermine, as by the decree of fate; destine (used in the passive): a person who was fated to be the savior of the country.
[1325-75; ME < L fatum utterance, decree of fate, destiny, orig. neut. of fatus, ptp. of fari to speak]
Syn. 1. karma, kismet; chance, luck. FATE, DESTINY, DOOM refer to the idea of a fortune, usually adverse, that is predetermined and inescapable. The three words are frequently interchangeable. FATE stresses the irrationality and impersonal character of events: It was Napoleon's fate to be exiled. The word is often lightly used, however: It was my fate to meet her that very afternoon. DESTINY emphasizes the idea of an unalterable course of events, and is often used of a propitious fortune: It was his destiny to save his nation. DOOM esp. applies to the final ending, always unhappy or terrible, brought about by destiny or fate: He met his doom bravely. 7. foreordain, preordain.

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▪ Greek and Roman mythology
Greek  Moira , plural  Moirai , Latin  Parca , plural  Parcae 

      in Greek and Roman mythology, any of three goddesses who determined human destinies, and in particular the span of a person's life and his allotment of misery and suffering. Homer speaks of Fate (moira) in the singular as an impersonal power and sometimes makes its functions interchangeable with those of the Olympian gods. From the time of the poet Hesiod (8th century BC) on, however, the Fates were personified as three very old women who spin the threads of human destiny. Their names were Clotho (Spinner), Lachesis (Allotter), and Atropos (Inflexible). Clotho spun the “thread” of human fate, Lachesis dispensed it, and Atropos cut the thread (thus determining the individual's moment of death). The Romans identified the Parcae, originally personifications of childbirth, with the three Greek Fates. The Roman goddesses were named Nona, Decuma, and Morta.

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Universalium. 2010.

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