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All of the examples I've found have "met one's fate" as referring to a death. The dictionary also has it as referring to a death. (Merriam Webster's definition is simply: "to die".)

The phrase "met fate" is a lot more fuzzy and I am having trouble searching for it. I want to know if it could refer to a person's calling. For example, if a person was fated to become a great musician, could I say that they "met fate" when they picked up an instrument for the first time?

Is "met fate" even a phrase, or is it just an bastardization of "met one's fate"?

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  • I've never come across 'met fate'. Have you actually seen this expression used? Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 14:34
  • Google gives me approximately 11,000 results that include the phrase "met fate". But it's possible that all 11,000 are typos or bastardizations. That's the second half of my question: "Is met fate even a phrase?" Or is it just a mildly common error? I don't know.
    – felwithe
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 16:43
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    meet fate is not idiomatic here: you need a pronoun: his fate, her fate, their fate. You could say: to meet fate head-on, for example. RE the musician, I would not say one met his or her fate. I would say: found their vocation.
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 18:49
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    @felwithe - the actual number of results is not 11,000, but 194 The message on the second page is In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 194 already displayed. 194 results is remarkably low for Google - so low that we can say "It's not a phrase in the sense of a common collocation."
    – Greybeard
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 18:53
  • This is a good example: google.com/books/edition/…
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 21:53

2 Answers 2

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to meet one's fate (end)

(phrase​ mainly literary)

to die in a particular way (BrE)

MacMillan

It appears to occur more in pre-1900 literature and decline in use after that, and seen mainly in historical accounts such as...

He met his fate with unostentatious fortitude ; and although few could ever think of justifying his projects or regretting their failure ; yet his youth , his talents , the great respectability of his connexions , and the evident delusion of which he was.

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The Edinburgh Review: Or Critical Journal, Volume 33

It has been observed , that the spot on which Hampden met his fate , was the same where he had commenced the war by attacking the king ' s troops . It should be observed , that he was a kinsman of Oliver Cromwell , whose aunt his father ...

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The Biographical Magazine - Volume 1 - Page 9

As Frank Herbert said in Dune, everyone's fate is the same; we all die.

I wouldn't use it in

if a person was fated to become a great musician, could I say that they "met fate" when they picked up an instrument for the first time?

I would suggest...

He met his destiny

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I've actually used the phrase 'fallen into a fate' in a poem. And I didn't intend it to be understood as meaning 'fallen to his death".

Personally, that this phrase is used in this sense has probably more to do with the over-production of trashy thrillers where everyone 'meets their fate' apart from the protagonist.

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