Adrastea goddess of inevitable fate. [Gk. Myth.: Jobes, 35]
  Atropos, Clotho, and Lachesis the three Fates; worked the thread of life. [Gk. and Rom. Myth.: Bulfinch]
  dance of death, the recurring motif in medieval art. [Eur. Culture: Bishop, 363–367]
  Destiny goddess of destiny of mankind. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 78]
  Fates three goddesses who spin, measure out, and cut the thread of each human’s life. Also called Lat. Parcae, Gk. Moirai. [Gk. Myth.: Benét, 757]
  karma one’s every action brings inevitable results. [Buddhist and Hindu Trad.: EB (1963), 13: 283; Pop. Culture: Misc.]
  kismet alludes to the part of life assigned one by his destiny. [Moslem Trad.: EB (1963), 13: 418; Pop. Culture: Misc.]
  Necessitas goddess of the destiny of mankind. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 78, 162]
  Nemesis goddess of vengeance and retribution; nemesis has come to mean that which one cannot achieve. [Gr. Myth.: WB, 14: 116; Pop. Culture: Misc.]
  Norns wove the fabric of human destiny. [Norse Myth.: Benét, 720]
  wool and narcissi, garland of emblem of the three Fates. [Gk. Myth.: Jobes, 374]

The Fates were three female deities who shaped people's lives. In particular, they determined how long a man or woman would live. Although a number of cultures held the notion of three goddesses who influenced human destiny, the Fates were most closely identified with Greek mythology.
The Greek image of the Fates developed over time. The poet Homer * , credited with composing the Iliad and the Odyssey, spoke of Fate as a single force, perhaps simply the will of the gods. Another poet, Hesiod * , portrayed the Fates as three old women. They were called the Keres, which means "those who cut off," or the Moirai, "those who allot." They may have originated as goddesses who were present at the birth of each child to determine the course of the child's future life.
deity god or goddess destiny future or fate of an individual or thing
allot to assign a portion...