Doom: active form?


Senior Member

He's doomed: passive form, recognized by my dictionary without any needed complement. But is the active form possible ? Could you say for instance:
Unfortunate circumstances doomed his life.
Thank you very much.
  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The active form is certainly possible but I usually expect the object to be a person, e.g.

    The guilty verdict doomed John to a life in prison.

    Let's see if anyone disagrees.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    "Why do you want to leave your present job?"
    "My employer's merger with a company that already had a product in that area doomed our development project."

    Etc. I think almost anything can be doomed, including intangible things like hopes and aspirations.


    Senior Member
    Thank you for these answers. In anycase, Egmont's example shows that the active form may be used without a complement (introduced by to), which was part of my question. The animate/inanimate subject was certainly the other and the verdict seems hung between British and American Englishes... Anyone else ?
    Thank you


    Senior Member
    English UK
    I don't think there's an AmE/BrE difference, and I do think active doom ss most commonly used with a following "to", as in this freedictionary definition:
    doom someone or something to something
    to destine someone or something to something unpleasant. The judgment doomed her to a life in prison. Your insistence on including that rigid clause doomed the contract to failure.
    McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.​
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