for·​tune | \ ˈfȯr-chən How to pronounce fortune (audio) \

Definition of fortune

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a very large sum of money spent a fortune redecorating
b : riches, wealth a man of fortune
c : a store of material possessions the family fortune
2a : prosperity attained partly through luck : success fortune attended the general's campaign
c fortunes plural : the turns and courses of luck accompanying one's progress (as through life) her fortunes varied but she never gave up
3 : destiny, fate can tell your fortune also : a prediction of fortune
4 often capitalized : a hypothetical force or personified power that unpredictably determines events and issues favorably or unfavorably a country favored by fortune
5 obsolete : accident, incident


fortuned; fortuning

Definition of fortune (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 obsolete : to give good or bad fortune to
2 archaic : to endow with a fortune

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Synonyms & Antonyms for fortune

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of fortune in a Sentence

Noun He hoped to achieve fame and fortune. They had the good fortune to escape injury when their car crashed. The book follows the fortunes of two families through the years.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Adelson may be more famous for his casino properties in Las Vegas, but Macau has played a larger role in growing his $33 billion personal fortune. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "Why Biden’s pick for ‘Asia czar’ may unsettle Beijing," 14 Jan. 2021 His fortune is little changed this year after recovering from a slump in 2020 amid the fallout from the pandemic. Angelina Rascouet,, "Billionaire Arnault Would Take Hit From Carrefour Stake Sale," 14 Jan. 2021 That glowing smile, Lindor said, is the product of his good fortune in life: playing baseball for millions and being healthy. New York Times, "Francisco Lindor Talks Mets, Pizza and Contract Extensions," 11 Jan. 2021 Rob Wilson, played by Hankerson, is a Vietnam veteran and helicopter pilot who leaves his wife, Maria, played by Knight, to seek his fortune as a bush pilot in Alaska. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "Remember ‘Pipe Dreams,’ the 1976 Alaska pipeline film starring soul legend Gladys Knight? You’re one of the few.," 11 Jan. 2021 Some take this to be evidence of nothing other than our good fortune. Philip Goff, Scientific American, "Our Improbable Existence Is No Evidence for a Multiverse," 10 Jan. 2021 China’s Zhong Shanshan has vaulted past Warren Buffett to claim the sixth slot after shares of his bottled-water company surged, adding $15.2 billion to his fortune. Devon Pendleton,, "Elon Musk surpasses Jeff Bezos to become world’s richest person," 7 Jan. 2021 Bernard Kiffmeyer, 71, of Kimball, notified lottery officials of his good fortune playing the annual New Year's Day game. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "$2 Mega Millions lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Arden Hills," 7 Jan. 2021 One was born into a wealthy family and the other lucked into Tim Duncan, but only the latter seemed to recognize his good fortune. Mike Finger,, "Mike Finger: Gregg Popovich’s fear is realized," 7 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fortune.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fortune


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for fortune

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin fortuna; akin to Latin fort-, fors chance, luck, and perhaps to ferre to carry — more at bear

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Time Traveler for fortune

Time Traveler

The first known use of fortune was in the 14th century

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Statistics for fortune

Last Updated

26 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fortune.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for fortune


How to pronounce fortune (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fortune

: a very large amount of money
somewhat formal : a great amount of money or possessions
: something that happens by chance


for·​tune | \ ˈfȯr-chən How to pronounce fortune (audio) \

Kids Definition of fortune

1 : a large sum of money
2 : what happens to a person : good or bad luck
3 : what is to happen to someone in the future I had my fortune told.
4 : wealth sense 1 They are a family of great fortune.

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Comments on fortune

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