for·​tune | \ˈfȯr-chən \

Definition of fortune 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 often capitalized : a hypothetical force or personified power that unpredictably determines events and issues favorably or unfavorably a country favored by fortune

2 obsolete : accident, incident

3a : prosperity attained partly through luck : success fortune attended the general's campaign

b : luck sense 1

c fortunes plural : the turns and courses of luck accompanying one's progress (as through life) her fortunes varied but she never gave up

4 : destiny, fate can tell your fortune also : a prediction of fortune

5a : riches, wealth a man of fortune

b : a store of material possessions the family fortune

c : a very large sum of money spent a fortune redecorating


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

fortunateness, luck, luckiness

Antonyms: Noun

mischance, misfortune, unluckiness

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Examples of fortune in a Sentence


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

In the 1965 scene, little happens except that a college chum reads Mary Page’s tarot fortune. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: ‘Mary Page Marlowe’ Lives an Ordinary, Extraordinary Life," 12 July 2018 Two years later during Euro 2012, England’s fortunes turned as John Terry’s hooked clearance against Ukraine protected a 1-0 lead, setting up a quarter-final tie with Italy, despite the ball clearly crossing the line., "Why VAR is a Step in the Right Direction for Football Despite the Continued Scrutiny," 12 July 2018 Wealth management is the centerpiece of Chief Executive James Gorman’s turnaround plan for the firm, an effort that has revived Morgan Stanley’s fortunes. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Morgan Stanley Brokerage Executive Departs Following Harassment Claims in Branches He Managed," 11 July 2018 All eyes are on the Senate, where Kavanaugh’s fortunes could hinge on a single vote. Morning Brief, The Seattle Times, "The Thailand cave rescue is complete, and more on the Supreme Court | Tuesday Morning Brief, July 10," 10 July 2018 An energized army of labor activists can boost a candidate’s fortunes, especially in a close election. Daniela Altimari,, "Firefighters Back Lamont But Refrain From Endorsement In Lt. Gov. Race," 20 June 2018 And again, there is always the possibility that Pruitt’s fortunes at the EPA will change suddenly, according to presidential whim. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Why Trump would really, really rather not fire Scott Pruitt," 15 June 2018 The state provides a stark warning about the dangers of tying a party’s fortunes to one big personality, said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. Jonathan Tamari,, "After primaries, the GOP is all in on Trump," 15 June 2018 Even though Alyssa has been a model of consistency, Neuqua’s fortunes have waxed and waned. Matt Le Cren, Naperville Sun, "Neuqua Valley twins Tyler and Alyssa Bombacino on their father: 'We celebrate who he was and how positive he was.'," 12 May 2018

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 1


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

History and Etymology for fortune


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


see fortune entry 1

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Statistics for fortune

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for fortune

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

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More Definitions for fortune



English Language Learners Definition of fortune

: a very large amount of money

: a great amount of money or possessions

: something that happens by chance


for·​tune | \ˈfȯr-chən \

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

What made you want to look up fortune? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express warning or disapproval

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