mid-14c., "fate, over-ruling necessity, the irresistible tendency of certain events to come about; inexorable force that shapes and controls lives and events;" also "that which is predetermined and sure to come true," from Old French destinée "purpose, intent, fate, destiny; that which is destined" (12c.), noun use of fem. past participle of destiner, from Latin destinare "make firm, establish" (see destination).
The sense is of "that which has been firmly established," as by fate. Especially "what is to befall any person or thing in the future" (mid-15c.). In Greek and Roman mythology, personified as the three Fates or powers supposed to preside over human life.