The Meaning of Kismet: What It Is and How To Use It

Have you ever been curious about the definition of kismet? This guide will provide you with all of the information you need on the word kismet, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word kismet mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the word kismet is a noun that refers to fate or some other uncontrollable force that controls what happens in a person’s life. In Islam, this refers to the will of Allah or another divinely ordained fate in the Koran/Qur’an. The word kismet is two syllables – kis-met, and the pronunciation of kismet is ˈkɪz mɪt or ˈkɪs-mɛt. 

According to Definitions, Kismet is also the name of a musical adaptation and the title of a novel. This was adapted from the book by Charles Lederer and Luther Davis, which was based on a 1911 play by Edward Knoblock. The musical had its lyrics and music written by Robert Wright and George Forrest, adapted from the music of Alexander Borodin. This story follows a wily poet whose beautiful daughter meets and falls in love with the young Caliph. This musical was first produced for Broadway in 1953. Kismet won the Tony Award for best musical in 1954, and has also had success in London’s West End with several revivals. MGM released a film version in 1955.

The word kismet also exists in many other languages. You may notice that some of the following translations look similar to the word kismet, or are cognates for the English word kismet. This is because both of the words have the same origin. Many languages, for example, the romance languages, have Latin roots and will therefore sometimes look similar to certain words in English that also have Latin roots. This list of translations of kismet is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Polish: los‎ (masc.), przeznaczenie‎ (neut.)
  •  Macedonian: касмет‎, су̀дбина‎ (fem.)
  •  Slovak: kismet‎ (masc.)
  •  Russian: кисме́т‎ (masc.), судьба́‎ (fem.)
  •  Czech: osud‎ (masc.)
  •  Hindi: क़िस्मत‎
  •  Finnish: kohtalo‎
  •  Urdu: قسمت‎ (qismat)
  •  Ido: kismet‎
  •  Portuguese: fado‎ (masc.), destino‎ (masc.)
  •  Spanish: hado‎ (masc.), destino‎ (masc.), sino‎ (masc.)
  •  Roman: kismet‎ (masc.), krsmet‎ (masc.), sudbina‎ (fem.), udes‎ (masc.)
  •  Mandarin: 命運‎, 命运‎ (mìngyùn)
  •  Turkish: kısmet‎
  •  Arabic: قِسْمَة‎ (fem.)
  •  Armenian: (good fate) ղսմաթ‎
  •  Sindhi: ڀاڳ‎ (masc.)
  •  Icelandic: örlög‎ (neut.), sköp‎ (neut.)
  •  Hungarian: kiszmet‎
  •  Indonesian: nasib‎, takdir‎
  •  Persian: تقدیر‎ (taqdir), قسمت‎ (qesmat)
  •  Georgian: ყისმათი‎, ბედი‎, იღბალი‎, ბედისწერა‎
  •  Uzbek: qismat‎
  •  Dutch: lotbestemming‎
  •  Cyrillic: кисмет‎ (masc.), крсмет‎ (masc.), судбина‎ (fem.), удес‎ (masc.)

What is the origin of the word kismet?

According to Etymonline, the word kismet comes from the Turkish qismet and Arabic qisma, Arabic qismah and Arabic qismat meaning a portion, lot or fate. These are from the Arabic qasama, meaning “he divided.” Related words are seen in the Persian qismat and other Arab-based words across Europe with the Semitic roots qsm. While English usually takes words from languages that had more contact with the conquerors of the Ottoman Empire, this is one of few words taken directly from the Turks. This word has been used in English since the early 19th century.

How can the word kismet be used in a sentence?

The word kismet can be used in many different ways in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions. You can also try making flashcards or quizzes to test your knowledge. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are several examples of the word kismet to get your started.

Lynne believed it was kismet that got her accepted to Princeton University, but her parents knew it was plain old hard work that led to the course of events. 

She believed it to be kismet when her small online business landed on the front page of the search engine, spurring trends that would grow her business and support her for years to come with a nation of enthusiasts behind her.

During the surgery in October, the doctors believed it to be kismet that the sword the man was stabbed with in the encampment hit just millimeters from a vital artery.

The smokers said their lung cancer was kismet, but everyone else knew it was the pipe. 

What are synonyms of the word kismet?

There are many words that have the same meaning as the word kismet. These are called synonyms. Synonyms are very useful to know if you are looking to expand your English vocabulary or if you want to avoid repeating yourself and using the same word over and over again. This list of synonyms for the word kismet is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  fortuity
  •  foreordination
  •  destinies
  •  karma
  •  providence
  •  portion
  •  wheel of fortune
  •  doom
  •  way the cookie crumbles
  •  fatalism
  •  circumstance
  •  streak of luck
  •  cup
  •  foredoom
  •  fate
  •  lot
  •  predetermination
  •  good break
  •  chance
  •  predestination
  •  luck
  •  destiny
  •  moira
  •  fatality
  •  preordination
  •  break
  •  way things go
  •  fortune
  •  lucky break
  •  good luck
  •  end
  •  success
  •  moirai
  •  fortunateness
  •  accident
  •  fluke
  •  horoscope
  •  run of luck
  •  nemesis
  •  way the ball bounces
  •  life
  •  luckiness
  •  serendipity
  •  inevitability
  •  stars
  •  divine decree
  •  synchronicity
  •  future
  •  fates
  •  destination
  •  kismat
  •  lucked into

There are also numerous different words that mean the opposite of the word kismet. These opposite words are called antonyms, which are another great way to expand your knowledge of English. These antonyms of kismet are also provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  plan
  •  sketch
  •  hope
  •  target
  •  wish
  •  program
  •  blueprint
  •  pattern
  •  drawing
  •  diagram
  •  arrange
  •  stratagem
  •  slate
  •  programme
  •  design
  •  layout
  •  mean
  •  ambition
  •  devise
  •  intention
  •  hatch
  •  frame
  •  project
  •  form
  •  approach
  •  idea
  •  arrangement
  •  organize
  •  strategy
  •  procedure
  •  goal
  •  system
  •  intent
  •  draft
  •  outline
  •  planned
  •  contrive
  •  purpose
  •  propose
  •  chart
  •  tactic
  •  concoct
  •  schedule
  •  map out
  •  scheme
  •  plot
  •  aim
  •  intend
  •  proposal
  •  planning
  •  method

Overall, the word kismet means fate or destiny. This word comes from the root of qasama and Turkish Urdu and Hindi roots, of foreign origin.

Sources:

  1. kismet: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. Kismet synonyms – 252 Words and Phrases for Kismet | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Kismet definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary
  4. kismet | Origin and meaning of kismet | Online Etymology Dictionary  
  5. What does kismet mean? | Definitions  
  6. Plan synonyms – 3 273 Words and Phrases for Plan | Power Thesaurus