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."
updated on October 21, 2014
Dictionary entries near fateful