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

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
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


Antonyms: Noun


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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

Estimated at $5 billion, that fortune is equal to roughly one-third of Georgia’s gross domestic product. David Segal, New York Times, "High in His ‘Glassle,’ Georgia’s Richest Man Looms Over Country’s Top Project," 2 July 2019 He and his colleague Emmanuel Saez, also an economist at UC Berkeley, helped formulate Sen. Elizabeth Warren's proposed wealth tax on fortunes above $50 million to help pay for those proposals. Christopher Rugaber,, "Why the wealth gap has grown despite a record economic expansion," 2 July 2019 Haimes breaks down their reversal of fortunes piece by piece, heartbreak by heartbreak. Washington Post, "ESPN’s new film says as much about America as it does about competitive eating," 1 July 2019 Unlike some digits at Old Trafford, this one isn't believed to be cursed, though the different occupants of the jersey have had mixed fortunes with United., "Manchester United Confirm Squad Number for New Signing Daniel James," 1 July 2019 The bright lights shine far less on the likes of Pasztor and others who play for reasons other than the glory and fortunes. Sameer Rao,, "How the owner of a Baltimore sushi restaurant became a World Series of Poker contender," 28 June 2019 As noted, the outsiders brought in to revive the sagging fortunes at Lowe’s, GE, and Xerox are all former chief executives––Visintin had previously run process automation provider Novitex. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "More People Named Jeffrey Got Top CEO Jobs Than Women Last Year," 27 June 2019 But there are defining times within a season, ones in which fortunes pivot. azcentral, "Can the Diamondbacks be something more than perfectly mediocre this season?," 26 June 2019 Others looked elsewhere, flocking to Trader Joe’s or Costco — and forming new shopping habits that boosted those chains’ fortunes. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Grocery strike rocked Southern California 16 years ago. It may happen again soon," 22 June 2019

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

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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Statistics for fortune

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

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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
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

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


food or victuals

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