The basic fatigue damage mechanisms in composite laminates are reviewed. Based on these mechanisms a pattern in the fatigue-life diagrams is proposed. Several experimental data are shown to agree with this basic pattern. Fatigue ratio is defined in terms of strains, and fatigue limit is shown to exist for unidirectional, cross-plied and angle-plied laminates. The limitations to the fatigue performance of composite laminates are pointed out and suggestions for improving the fatigue resistance are made.