Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


n. pl. des·ti·nies
1. The inevitable or necessary fate to which a particular person or thing is destined; one's lot.
2. A predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control: "Marriage and hanging go by destiny" (Robert Burton).
3. The power or agency thought to predetermine events: Destiny brought them together.

[Middle English destine, from Old French destinee, from feminine past participle of destiner, to destine, from Latin dēstināre, to determine; see stā- in Indo-European roots.]


n, pl -nies
1. the future destined for a person or thing; fate; fortune; lot
2. the predetermined or inevitable course of events
3. (Philosophy) the ultimate power or agency that predetermines the course of events
[C14: from Old French destinee, from destiner to destine]


n, pl -nies
(Classical Myth & Legend) the power that predetermines events, personified as a goddess


(ˈdɛs tə ni)

n., pl. -nies.
1. something that is to happen or has happened to a particular person or thing; lot or fortune.
2. the predetermined, usu. inevitable, course of events.
3. the power or agency that determines the course of events.
[1275–1325; destinee < Old French, n. use of feminine past participle of destiner to destine]
syn: See fate.



[one’s] cup of tea See PREFERENCE.

handwriting on the wall See OMEN.

have [someone’s] number on it To be the instrument of one’s fate, usually the agent which causes someone’s death. Apparently this expression originated from a superstition that one need not fear any bullet unless it has one’s number ‘code by which one may be identified’ on it.

I’m as safe here as … anywhere … if it’s got your number on it, you’ll get it, no matter where you are! (C. Fremlin, By Horror Haunted, 1974)

Currently the expression is also heard in broader contexts where the stakes are not always as high as life and death.

in the cards Likely to happen; probable; a sure bet, foreordained; sometimes on the cards. The phrase derives from either cartomancy or card playing. The earliest citations are from the beginning of the 19th century.

It don’t come out altogether so plain as to please me, but it’s on the cards. (Charles Dickens, Bleak House, 1852)

in the wind Imminent, about to happen; astir, afoot. Dating from the 16th century, this expression may have originally referred to something nearby which can be perceived by means of the wind carrying its scent.

There’s a woman in the wind.… I’ll lay my life on it. (Charles Kingsley, Westward Ho!, 1855)

However, in the wind refers more often to time than to physical distance.

There must be something in the wind, perhaps a war. (Benjamin Disraeli, Vivian Grey, 1826)

kiss of death A relationship or action, often appearing good and well-meaning, which in reality is destructive or fatal; the instrument of one’s downfall or ruination. This expression is a derivative of the earlier phrase Judas kiss, the kiss Judas Iscariot gave Jesus in betraying Him to the authorities in the Garden of Gethsemane and which ultimately led to His death by crucifixion. It has been in use since at least 1948.

Let us hope that the critics’ approval does not, at the box-office, prove a kiss of death. (The Guardian, December, 1960)

See Judas kiss, BETRAYAL.

that’s the way the ball bounces See RESIGNATION.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.destiny - an event (or a course of events) that will inevitably happen in the future
happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent - an event that happens
inevitable - an unavoidable event; "don't argue with the inevitable"
karma - (Hinduism and Buddhism) the effects of a person's actions that determine his destiny in his next incarnation
kismat, kismet - (Islam) the will of Allah
predestination - previous determination as if by destiny or fate
doom, doomsday, end of the world, day of reckoning - an unpleasant or disastrous destiny; "everyone was aware of the approaching doom but was helpless to avoid it"; "that's unfortunate but it isn't the end of the world"
2.destiny - the ultimate agency regarded as predetermining the course of events (often personified as a woman); "we are helpless in the face of destiny"
causal agency, causal agent, cause - any entity that produces an effect or is responsible for events or results
occult, supernatural - supernatural forces and events and beings collectively; "She doesn't believe in the supernatural"
3.destiny - your overall circumstances or condition in life (including everything that happens to you)destiny - your overall circumstances or condition in life (including everything that happens to you); "whatever my fortune may be"; "deserved a better fate"; "has a happy lot"; "the luck of the Irish"; "a victim of circumstances"; "success that was her portion"
condition - a mode of being or form of existence of a person or thing; "the human condition"
good fortune, good luck, luckiness - an auspicious state resulting from favorable outcomes
providence - a manifestation of God's foresightful care for his creatures
bad luck, ill luck, tough luck, misfortune - an unfortunate state resulting from unfavorable outcomes
failure - lack of success; "he felt that his entire life had been a failure"; "that year there was a crop failure"


1. fate, fortune, lot, portion, doom, nemesis, divine decree We are masters of our own destiny. (usually cap)
2. fortune, stars, chance, karma, providence, kismet, predestination, divine will Is it Destiny or accident that brings people together?
"Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour" [Ovid The Art of Love]
"Thy lot or portion of life is seeking after thee; therefore be at rest from seeking after it" [Ali Ibn-Abi-Talib]
"What must be, must be"


That which is inevitably destined:
قَدَرقَدَر، مَقْدور
kaderalın yazısı
vận mệnh


[ˈdestɪnɪ] N (= fate) → destino m


[ˈdɛstɪni] n
[person] → destinée f, destin m
(= force) → destin m


no art (= determining power)Schicksal nt, → Vorsehung f; Destinydas Schicksal, die Vorsehung
(= individual fate, fated event)Schicksal nt, → Geschick nt, → Los nt; the destinies of Germany during this perioddie Geschicke Deutschlands während dieser Zeit; to control one’s own destinysein Schicksal selbst in die Hand nehmen; it was his destinyes war sein Schicksal or Los; will it be our destiny to meet again?wird uns das Schicksal (je) wieder zusammenführen?


[ˈdɛstɪnɪ] ndestino, sorte f


(ˈdestəni) plural ˈdestinies noun
the power which appears or is thought to control events; fate. We are all subject to the tricks played by destiny.


قَدَر osud skæbne Schicksal πεπρωμένο destino kohtalo destin sudbina destino 運命 운명 noodlot skjebne przeznaczenie destino судьба öde ชะตากรรม kader vận mệnh 命运
References in classic literature ?
There is a destiny in war, to which a brave man knows how to submit with the same courage that he faces his foes.
At last, after creeping, as it were, for such a length of time along the utmost verge of the opaque puddle of obscurity, they had taken that downright plunge which, sooner or later, is the destiny of all families, whether princely or plebeian.
I felt it almost as a destiny to make Salem my home; so that the mould of features and cast of character which had all along been familiar here -- ever, as one representative of the race lay down in the grave, another assuming, as it were, his sentry-march along the main street -- might still in my little day be seen and recognised in the old town.
This warp seemed necessity; and here, thought I, with my own hand I ply my own shuttle and weave my own destiny into these unalterable threads.
But the captain, for some unknown constitutional reason, had refrained from mentioning all this, and not till forced to it by Ahab's iciness did he allude to his one yet missing boy; a little lad, but twelve years old, whose father with the earnest but unmisgiving hardihood of a Nantucketer's paternal love, had thus early sought to initiate him in the perils and wonders of a vocation almost immemorially the destiny of all his race.
said Aunt Chloe, indignantly, while the two boys, who now seemed to comprehend at once their father's destiny, clung to her gown, sobbing and groaning vehemently.
And if ye leave off now, this wicked day of destiny is past.
She was a brand-new bride, innocent, girlish, happy in herself and her grave and worshiping stripling of a husband; she was about eighteen, just out of school, free from affections, unconscious of that passionless multitude around her; and the very first time she smote that old wreck one recognized that it had met its destiny.
She felt as if the wind of destiny were blowing her flame hither and thither, burning, consuming her, but kindling nothing.
She was nevertheless left a slave--a slave for life--a slave in the hands of strangers; and in their hands she saw her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren, divided, like so many sheep, without being gratified with the small privilege of a single word, as to their or her own destiny.
There were wishes at Randalls respecting Emma's destiny, but it was not desirable to have them suspected; and the quiet transition which Mr.
In one circumstance only, my Marianne, may your destiny be different from her's