Definition of fatal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfeɪt(ə)l/


1Causing death: a fatal accident
More example sentences
  • But we know they are carrying a deadly parasite which has proved fatal to two species.
  • The result would be fatal to most motorists as vehicles are likely to be damaged.
  • This protects the foliage from cold and wind damage as even the walk between shop and car can be fatal to tender plants.
deadly, lethal, mortal, causing death, death dealing, killing;
final, terminal, incurable, untreatable, inoperable, malignant;
literary deathly
archaic baneful
1.1Leading to failure or disaster: there were three fatal flaws in the strategy
More example sentences
  • However, a couple of fatal flaws in an otherwise solid defence proved costly.
  • It's a fatal flaw in what otherwise has the makings of an entertainingly quirky show.
  • However, when I'd finished the process I discovered a fatal flaw in the new software.
disastrous, devastating, ruinous, catastrophic, calamitous, cataclysmic, destructive, grievous, dire, crippling, crushing, injurious, harmful, costly
literary direful


Late Middle English (in the senses 'destined by fate' and 'ominous'): from Old French, or from Latin fatalis, from fatum (see fate).

Words that rhyme with fatal

antenatal, hiatal, natal, neonatal, ratel

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fatal

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