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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



[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.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


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"
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


That which is inevitably destined:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
قَدَرقَدَر، مَقْدور
kaderalın yazısı
vận mệnh


[ˈdestɪnɪ] N (= fate) → destino m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈdɛstɪni] n
[person] → destinée f, destin m
(= force) → destin m
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


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?
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈdɛstɪnɪ] ndestino, sorte f
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(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.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


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
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
As he was entirely alone, it may be presumed that, in these remarks, Mr Swiveller addressed himself to his fate or destiny, whom, as we learn by the precedents, it is the custom of heroes to taunt in a very bitter and ironical manner when they find themselves in situations of an unpleasant nature.
'By Destiny,' she answered, with her head on her breast, and her eyes on the ground.
You say: join our brotherhood and we will show you the aim of life, the destiny of man, and the laws which govern the world.
But this did not continue long, for, either according to blind chance, or to the lines of fate written in the book of life ere ever the foundations of the world were laid, Michael was scheduled for an adventure that was profoundly to affect, not alone his own destiny, but the destinies of Kwaque and Dag Daughtry and determine the very place of their death and burial.
Each is an incident in the progress of civilization; the man and the vegetable alike taking the direction pointed out by Providence for the fulfilment of his or its destiny.
but I dare say you did all for the best, and there is no defying destiny.
Thus, with the exception of the fragile memory which the author of this book here consecrates to it, there remains to-day nothing whatever of the mysterious word engraved within the gloomy tower of Notre-Dame,--nothing of the destiny which it so sadly summed up.
I sat upon the mountain-side and watched A tiny barque that skimmed across the lake, Drifting, like human destiny upon A world of hidden peril; then she sailed From out my ken, and mingled with the blue Of skies unfathomed, while the great round sun Weakened towards the waves.
IT is no part of mine to narrate the adventures of John Nicholson, which were many, but simply his more momentous misadventures, which were more than he desired, and, by human standards, more than he deserved; how he reached California, how he was rooked, and robbed, and beaten, and starved; how he was at last taken up by charitable folk, restored to some degree of self-complacency, and installed as a clerk in a bank in San Francisco, it would take too long to tell; nor in these episodes were there any marks of the peculiar Nicholsonic destiny, for they were just such matters as befell some thousands of other young adventurers in the same days and places.
"After having wandered some time on the Banks of the Uske without knowing which way to go, I began to lament my cruel Destiny in the bitterest and most pathetic Manner.
Your genius will not be allotted to you, but you choose your genius; and let him who draws the first lot have the first choice, and the life which he chooses shall be his destiny. Virtue is free, and as a man honours or dishonours her he will have more or less of her; the responsibility is with the chooser--God is justified.' When the Interpreter had thus spoken he scattered lots indifferently among them all, and each of them took up the lot which fell near him, all but Er himself (he was not allowed), and each as he took his lot perceived the number which he had obtained.
Two I have already destroyed; other victims await their destiny; but you, Clerval, my friend, my benefactor--"