Fatal vs. Lethal with Mnemonic

Both of the words mean to death, still they are not synonym. They are not used in the same way.

Quick look

Difference between Fatal and Lethal:
Fatal is something that has caused someone's death.
  • Malaria is a fatal disease that has killed many people.
Lethal is something that is capable of killing someone.
  • Ak47 is a lethal gun.

    What is the meaning of Fatal ?

    Fatal means an incident that causes someone's death. A fatal accident or illness causes someone's death.
    • He had suffered a fatal car accident.
    Fatal can also mean causing failure or undesirable effects.
    • The deal can be fatal for us.
    • They made a fatal mistake driving my old car.

    What is the meaning of Lethal ?

    According to Collins:
    Lethal is a substance that can kill people or animals.
    • a lethal dose of sleeping pills.
    • chemicals lethal to fish and aquatic mammals.
    If you describe something as lethal, you mean that it is capable of causing a lot of damage.
    • High-powered cars are lethal weapons in the hands of inexperienced drivers.

    What is the difference between Fatal and Lethal?

    Fatal is used to mean something- conditions, circumstances, or events- that has caused someone's death. The word fatal is used for an incident after which the incident has become deadly.
    For example,  An accident becomes fatal when someone has killed in the accident. 
    • Her first journey to Iraq proved fatal.
    A disease becomes fatal when the disease has killed someone.  
    • If corona attacks him again, it could be fatal.
    On the other hand, Lethal is something- a weapon, an instrument, any food- that is capable of killing someone: a lethal disease is a disease that is capable of killing those who suffer from it, a lethal weapon is a weapon that can kill people. 
    • Nuclear bomb is a lethal weapon.
    • HIV is a lethal virus.
    Lethal is used to describe something that causes death whereas fatal is typically used to describe a condition that will lead to death.

    How do memorize the difference between Fatal and Lethal?

    Fatal is somehow related to fate. Now think about that fatal is something that brings fate or destiny to you.
    One more we can memorize the words: Fatal has the word fat. We know that fat has killed many people. Hence being fat is fatal. This way we can memorized fatal.

    Lethal has Let in front of the word. Let means to allow. Now we use mnemonic, lethal is something that lets you go. Here "go" implies "death".

    Words from Vocabeasy:

    Lethal is something that has ability to kill. Guns, bombs, poison, knives, wild animals, and radiation- these are lethal because they have power to kill. We can learn the word with the help of "let".
                                   Fatal is something that has caused someone's death. We can memorize the word by using Fat or Fate mnemonics.
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