Etymology
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fateful (adj.)

1710s, "prophetic," from fate (n.) + -ful. Meaning "of momentous consequences" is from c. 1800. Related: Fatefully. Sometimes used by 18c.-19c. poets as if it meant "having the power to kill," which usually belongs to fatal. The broad and diverging senses of fate (n.) also yielded adjectives fated "doomed," also "set aside by fate;" fatiferous "deadly, mortal (1650s), from Latin fatifer "death-bringing;" fatific/fatifical (c. 1600) "having power to foretell," from Latin fatidicus "prophetic."

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Definitions of fateful

fateful (adj.)
ominously prophetic;
Synonyms: foreboding / portentous
fateful (adj.)
having momentous consequences; of decisive importance; "that fateful meeting of the U.N. when...it declared war on North Korea"- Saturday Rev;
Synonyms: fatal
fateful (adj.)
(of events) having extremely unfortunate or dire consequences; bringing ruin; "such doctrines, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory"- Charles Darwin; "it is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it"- Douglas MacArthur;
a fateful error
Synonyms: black / calamitous / disastrous / fatal
fateful (adj.)
controlled or decreed by fate; predetermined;
Synonyms: fatal
From wordnet.princeton.edu