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 Torres’s unlikely rise was foretold shortly after his birth, when a fortune-teller informed his grandmother that one of her descendants would become a success in New York City. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "The Otherworldly Comedy of Julio Torres," 21 Dec. 2020 Before winning statewide office, Raffensperger made a fortune in engineering and won election in 2011 to the city council in the affluent Atlanta suburb of Johns Creek. Jeff Amy,, "Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger battles own party, says Sen. Lindsey Graham pressured him to discard ballots," 17 Nov. 2020 Before winning statewide office, Raffensperger made a fortune in engineering and won election in 2011 to the city council in the affluent Atlanta suburb of Johns Creek. Star Tribune, "Georgia elections chief battles fellow Republicans, Trump," 17 Nov. 2020 And then the Met sold the curtain to Gerard L. Cafesjian, a collector who had made a fortune from his stake in a Midwestern publishing house. James Barron, New York Times, "A Chagall Curtain Needs a New Home With a Tall Ceiling," 15 Nov. 2020 Smith, the determined son of Denver schoolteachers, was then an aspiring financier; Brockman was older and far wealthier, a man who had already made a fortune with a company that sold software for the automotive industry. Washington Post, "A dodgy deal helped make him a billionaire. It worked, until now.," 9 Nov. 2020 The Auburn Castle dates back to 1871, when it was built for Samuel Laurie, a Scottish immigrant who ran a local wool mill and made a fortune in manufacturing. James Leggate, Fox News, "'Haunted' New York castle auction ending on Halloween," 30 Oct. 2020 Tickets are $125 each and include unlimited food and access to beer, wine and cocktail stations throughout the event, as well as live music and performances, including a fortune teller/medium. Amy Drew Thompson,, "Halloween flavors hit Kelly’s, a Mask-for-Aid Ball and more," 23 Oct. 2020 Trevino, who has 54 thousand followers right now, is another who has found great—and perhaps surprising—success as a fortune-teller on a platform where interactions are driven not so much by kismet but the mindless gears of a machine. Alisha Mughal, Wired, "The Improbable Appeal of TikTok Tarot," 21 Oct. 2020

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

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fortune.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 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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