Definition of destiny in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdɛstɪni/

noun (plural destinies)

1The events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future: she was unable to control her own destiny
More example sentences
  • The very destinies of future generations can be changed right here for eternity, I think.
  • The intricate events and various destinies interplay into a complicated story.
  • They would know that in future the destinies of all its citizens would be entirely in their own hands.
1.1 [mass noun] The hidden power believed to control future events; fate: he believed in destiny
More example sentences
  • It seems that people who want to achieve should believe in destiny, rather than chance.
  • He believes the hand of destiny is on his side, just as it was when he was tearing up the track everywhere from the Isle of Man to Japan.
  • I had to believe that history, destiny, was written at a much more profound level.
future, fate, fortune, doom;
lot, portion, due;
literary dole
fate, providence;
divine decree, God's will, kismet, the stars;
luck, fortune, chance;
Hinduism & Buddhism  karma;
Greek & Roman Mythology  the Fates;
Greek Mythology  Moirai;
Roman Mythology  Parcae;
Norse Mythology  the Norns


Middle English: from Old French destinee, from Latin destinata, feminine past participle of destinare 'make firm, establish'.

  • luck from Late Middle English:

    The native English word for that which determines events was weird, which only came to mean strange or supernatural in the early 19th century. Destiny (Middle English) came later via French from Latin destinare ‘make firm, establish’, fate from Italian, and luck from German. The idea of lucky at cards, unlucky in love is already a commonplace in Jonathan Swift's Polite Conversation in 1738: ‘Well, Miss, you'll have a sad husband, you have such good luck at cards.’

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: des|tiny

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