fate

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(as) sure as fate

Certainly or without a doubt; assumed as true based on previous experience or evidence. It had to have been Mike who leaked our plans to the press, sure as fate! Come into a great fortune and, as sure as fate, the number of those who would be your friend increases tenfold.
See also: fate, sure

(one's) fate is sealed

A particular outcome for one is assured. If the jury comes back with a guilty verdict, then his fate is sealed.
See also: fate, seal

be a fate worse than death

To be a very unpleasant situation or experience. This phrase is usually used hyperbolically, especially when referring to some form of punishment. It will be a fate worse than death if my parents catch me sneaking in after curfew. I appreciate Gina inviting me to go with her to the theater, but having to listen to those opera singers would be a fate worse than death.
See also: death, fate, worse

fate worse than death

A hyperbolic phrase referring to a situation or experience that is very unpleasant. I appreciate Gina inviting me to go with her to the theater, but having to listen to those opera singers would be a fate worse than death.
See also: death, fate, worse

fucked by the fickle finger of fate

vulgar slang Very unlucky; going through an unfortunate turn of events. I'd like to have some good luck for once, I'm tired of being fucked by the fickle finger of fate.
See also: by, fate, fickle, finger, fuck, of

leave (one) to (one's) fate

To refuse to aid or assist one, instead allowing for whatever outcome was bound to occur naturally. I don't consider myself a hero. I just knew I couldn't leave those people to their fates in that burning building. I appealed to my father-in-law to loan me the money I needed to keep the business afloat, but he just left me to my fate.
See also: fate, leave

leave (something) to fate

To resign oneself to something's outcome being determined forces outside of one's control. My boss always scrutinizes the smallest details of any deal she makes—she says there's nothing more foolish than leaving things to fate in business. You could just pick a few different investments and leave the whole process to fate, or you could let our firm plan your investments meticulously in order to maximize your return.
See also: fate, leave

seal (one's) fate

To solidify or confirm that a particular, usually unpleasant, thing will happen. If you fail this exam, it will seal your fate and make your GPA low enough to qualify for expulsion.
See also: fate, seal

tempt fate

1. To do something that one knows is dangerous or likely to have a negative outcome. You're really tempting fate by not taking your car in for service when all these dashboard lights are on.
2. To invite bad luck or unpleasant situations by showing one's confidence in something. I'm afraid to tempt fate, but I really think I did well on the exam.
See also: fate, tempt

turn of fate

A highly unexpected or coincidental event, especially one that has an important or far-reaching influence on the future. It was a turn of fate that brought together the two brilliant scientists who would go on to solve the world's energy crisis. Really, it was down to a turn of fate that I happened to get this job. Right place, right time, as they say.
See also: fate, of, turn

twist of fate

A highly unexpected or coincidental event, especially one that has an important or far-reaching influence on the future. It was a twist of fate that brought together the two brilliant scientists who would go on to solve the world's energy crisis. Really, it was down to a twist of fate that I happened to get this job. Right place, right time, as they say.
See also: fate, of, twist

fate worse than death

Fig. a terrible fate. (Usually an exaggeration.) Having to sit through one of his lectures is a fate worse than death.
See also: death, fate, worse

leave one to one's fate

to abandon someone to whatever may happen—possibly death or some other unpleasant event. We couldn't rescue the miners and were forced to leave them to their fate. Please don't try to help. Just go away and leave me to my fate.
See also: fate, leave, one

seal someone's fate

Fig. to determine finally the fate of someone. His lying and cheating sealed his fate. He was convicted and sent to prison.
See also: fate, seal

someone's fate is sealed

Fig. the destiny of somene has been determined. When the driver finally saw that the bridge was out, he knew his fate was sealed.
See also: fate, seal

*sure as God made little green apples

 and *sure as eggs is eggs; *sure as fate; *sure as I'm stand-ing here; *sure as you live
Rur. absolutely certain. (*Also: as ~.) I'm as sure as God made little green apples that he's the one. I'm right, as sure as you live!
See also: apple, god, green, little, made, sure

twist of fate

 and turn of fate
Fig. a fateful event; an unanticipated change in a sequence of events. A strange turn of fate brought Fred and his ex-wife together at a New Year's Eve party in Queens.
See also: fate, of, twist

fate worse than death, a

A highly undesirable occurrence, a misfortune, as in Dean thinks driving daily during rush hour is a fate worse than death. Formerly applied quite seriously to a woman's loss of virginity, this idiom today is used hyperbolically and far more loosely. [1600s]
See also: fate, worse

seal one's fate

Decide what will become of one, as in The letter of rejection sealed his fate; he'd have to apply to other medical schools. This term employs seal in the sense of "permanently fix or fasten something," a usage dating from the mid-1600s.
See also: fate, seal

tempt fate

Also, tempt the fates. Take a severe risk, as in It's tempting fate to start up that mountain so late in the day, or Patrice thought driving that old car was tempting the fates; it was sure to break down . This expression uses tempt in the sense of "test in a way that involves risk or danger." Earlier idioms with a similar meaning were tempt God, dating from the 1300s, and tempt fortune, first recorded in 1603, with fate appearing about 1700.
See also: fate, tempt

a fate worse than death

If you describe something that could happen as a fate worse than death, you mean that it is extremely unpleasant. They were forced to share the same office space as me — a fate worse than death. Why is it considered a fate worse than death to stay at home and rear children? Note: This expression is often used humorously to show that you do not think that the thing is really very bad.
See also: death, fate, worse

seal someone's fate

COMMON If something seals the fate of a person or thing, it makes it certain that something unpleasant will happen to them. The plan removes power from the government, sealing the fate of the unpopular Prime Minister. It was his decision to walk that night, rather than taking a taxi, that sealed his fate.
See also: fate, seal

tempt fate

COMMON
1. If someone tempts fate, they take unnecessary risks or do something that may bring them bad luck. They charged the organisers with tempting fate by sending so many ill-prepared crews into such dangerous waters. Note: You can also say that someone tempts providence. I used to take the most appalling risks because it was in my nature to push everything to the extreme. I was tempting providence all the time.
2. If you tempt fate, you talk too confidently about something which may go wrong. While I wouldn't want to tempt fate, almost every time this team has been put under pressure, they've triumphed. Note: You can also say that someone tempts providence. I'm 36 and I'd hate to tempt providence and say I'm going to get pregnant.
See also: fate, tempt

a fate worse than death

a terrible experience, especially that of seduction or rape.
1991 Thomas Hayden The Killing Frost He dominated the conversation, holding the Hackett and Townshend women spellbound as he told of how he had broken up a white-slave ring in Dublin, and how he had rescued an innocent young girl from a fate worse than death.
See also: death, fate, worse

seal someone's fate

make it inevitable that something unpleasant will happen to someone.
See also: fate, seal

tempt fate (or providence)

act rashly. informal
See also: fate, tempt

a ˌfate worse than ˈdeath

(often humorous) a terrible experience: Go on a trip with the Trumans? You’re joking. It would be a fate worse than death.
See also: death, fate, worse

tempt ˈfate/ˈprovidence

take a risk or do something dangerous: ‘I don’t think I’ll insure my boat.’ ‘Don’t tempt fate. It’s best to insure it.’
See also: fate, tempt

fate worse than death, a

Seduction or rape of a woman. This term, originating about the mid-seventeenth century, became a cliché in the late nineteenth century, when it also began to be used in a jocular fashion for sexual relations among willing partners. E. R. Burroughs, however, still meant it seriously: “The ape . . . bearing Jane Porter away toward a fate a thousand times worse than death” (Tarzan, 1917).
See also: fate, worse

tempt fate, to

To expose to danger, to risk something. This expression dates from about 1700, when it replaced the earlier to tempt fortune. It appeared in John Dryden’s translation of one of the satires of Juvenal (1693): “Thy Perjur’d Friend will quickly tempt his Fate.”
See also: tempt
References in periodicals archive ?
Flanagan of the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, the study revealed that neural stem cells differing in fate potential expressed distinct patterns of sugars on the cell surface.
The levels are not significantly different, but how they're organized is different and that seems to correlate with the fact that these cells are actually exhibiting different fates.
But Mathilde's rage is as artful as it is destructive, and at its deepest, Fates and Furies suggests that her vengeance is a creative force as carefully wrought as any of Lotto's dramas.
A number of scholars have already addressed the role of fate within Tolkien's legendarium.
As much as the fate of the Acadians anticipates nineteenth and twentieth century genocidal acts of forced removal, it historically belongs, as Faragher's narrative recognizes, to the colonial era when rival France and England struggled for global dominance.
The Lachesis is named after the Fate that measures the thread of life.
Just how the fate of one feature tugs at that of the others has intrigued Antonia Monteiro, now of the University at Buffalo, New York.
In The Darker Face of the Earth fate is likewise manifest in two similarly distinct forms.
If I could, I would dissolve bodily into these epic, witty, bone-numbingly lonesome fantasias abundantly served in Vincent Di Fate's new catalogue raisonne of celestial musings.
The story's structural format, its allegorical content, and pre/non-Christian characterization of the fates were not lost on the storytellers and their audience.
Weight Watchers, Laundromat, Nutra Sweet and TV Guide are also concerned about their identities, wishing not to meet the same fates as high octane, and yo yo in the graveyard to trademarks which used to have a specific identity, but are now generalities.
"How cells become committed to particular fates is a fundamental question in developmental biology," said Susan Haynes, Ph.D., program director in the Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology at die National Institutes of Health, which funds this line of research.
The story then picks up in the present day with the descendents of the original owner of this "lost" fate and of the Irishman who all seek to bring together the three fates.
From his opening chapter, Melville indicates that, although an individual such as Ishmael may choose to go to sea, "those stage managers, the Fates" (7), also inevitably dictate his course of action.