The definition of fatal is something that causes death or that leads to failure or disaster.
When you are shot in the head, this is an example of a wound that could be described as fatal.
- Obs. fated; destined; inevitable
- important in its outcome; fateful; decisive: the fatal day arrived
- resulting in death
- very destructive; most unfortunate; disastrous
- concerned with or determining fate
Origin of fatalMiddle English from Old French and from Classical Latin fatalis from fatum, fate
- Causing or capable of causing death.
- Causing ruin or destruction; disastrous: “Such doctrines, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory” ( Charles Darwin )
- Of decisive importance; fateful: came through at the fatal moment.
- Concerning or determining one's fate: the fatal thread of life.
- Obsolete Having been destined; fated.
Origin of fatalMiddle English fateful from Old French from Latin fātālis from fātum prophecy, doom ; see fate .
fatal deadly mortal lethal
These adjectives apply to what causes or is likely to cause death. Fatal describes conditions, circumstances, or events that have caused or are destined to cause death or dire consequences: a fatal illness. Deadly means capable of killing: a deadly poison. Mortal describes a condition or action that produces death: a mortal wound. Lethal refers to a sure agent of death that may have been created solely for the purpose of killing: execution by lethal injection.
From Middle French fatal, from Latin fātālis (“fatal”).
fatal - Legal Definition
Deadly, causing actual or metaphorical death; causing the undoing of a claim, assertion, or legal document (“a fatal flaw in the pleading”). See also fatal defect.