fortune

1 of 2

noun

for·​tune ˈfȯr-chən How to pronounce fortune (audio)
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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

fortune

2 of 2

verb

fortuned; fortuning

transitive verb

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
And that’s assuming there are no reversals of fortune. Liz Weston, Los Angeles Times, 14 Apr. 2024 After a string of victories in the first year of the war, fortunes have turned for the Ukrainian military, which is dug in, outgunned, and outnumbered. Samya Kullab and Illia Novikov, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 Apr. 2024 In some ways, the stock has become a vehicle for people to bet on the political fortunes of Trump. Matt Egan, CNN, 9 Apr. 2024 Heathcliff and Catherine have loved each other since childhood, but their class difference separates them until Heathcliff returns to Wuthering Heights with a fortune, determined to win her away from her husband. Danny Horn, EW.com, 9 Apr. 2024 Many Texas towns on the enviable spine of totality have parlayed their good fortune as willing hosts to this heavenly soiree. David Montesino, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 9 Apr. 2024 The 40/40 Club may fade into the recesses of Carter’s illustrious history, a footnote in the forensic accounting of his fortune. Abe Beame, Rolling Stone, 7 Apr. 2024 Bernard Arnault, the chairman of luxury giant LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, and Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos hold the first two spots on Bloomberg’s wealth ranking with fortunes of $223.4 billion and $207.3 billion, respectively. Vernal Galpotthawela, Fortune, 6 Apr. 2024 Trump denies any wrongdoing, saying the statements actually lowballed his fortune, came with disclaimers and weren’t taken at face value by the institutions that lent to or insured him. Michael R. Sisak, Fortune, 2 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fortune.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Verb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near fortune

Cite this Entry

“Fortune.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fortune. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

fortune

noun
for·​tune
ˈfȯr-chən
1
a
: favorable results that come partly by chance : good luck
b
: what happens to a person : good or bad luck
follows the fortunes of two families through the years
2
: what is to happen to one in the future
had my fortune told
also : a prediction of fortune
3
a
: the possession of material goods : wealth
b
: a store of material possessions : riches
the family fortune
c
: a large sum of money

More from Merriam-Webster on fortune

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