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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Tammy Gustavson, heiress to the Public Storage fortune, listed her late father's Malibu home for $127.5 million. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, 16 June 2022 Born to a lower middle class family in 1945, Hernandez made a fortune building real estate in the 1990s, as millions of Colombians migrated from the countryside to urban areas. Stefano Pozzebon, CNN, 16 June 2022 The company that generated Disney’s fortune has spent most of 2022 in the headlines—mostly for reasons other than pay. Maria Aspan, Fortune, 15 June 2022 Much of Perry’s fortune comes from his gigantic film complex in Atlanta that is currently home to 12 soundstages. Antonio Ferme, Variety, 13 June 2022 My pal Dan McKenna’s granddaughter Colleen is a singer/guitarist/songwriter/ who has plans to take a year between high school and college to make her folk music fortune in Nashville. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 13 June 2022 Prospectors tended to have severely limited diets due to high food costs in remote mining boomtowns, the shorter shelf life of vitamin C-rich options, and the overriding focus on fortune hunting. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 12 June 2022 Instead of experiencing good fortune, the Revolution have become victims of bad luck, bad weather, and a tendency to self-destruct, stumbling along at a sub-.500 pace (4-5-4, 16 points). Frank Dell'apa,, 11 June 2022 Dustin Hoffman won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Raymond Babbitt, an autistic savant brought on a cross country road trip during his brother’s bid to grab a piece of their father’s fortune. cleveland, 11 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near fortune



fortune cookie

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Statistics for fortune

Last Updated

19 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fortune.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for fortune


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on fortune

Nglish: Translation of fortune for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fortune for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about fortune


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