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

Ambani’s fortune has grown to $44.3 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Fortune, "8 Things to Know About Mukesh Ambani, Asia's Newest Richest Man," 13 July 2018 As this World Cup progressed, England had started to feel that, perhaps, for once, fortune was on its side. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Croatia Digs Deeper, Burying England’s World Cup Dreams," 12 July 2018 Iranian President Rouhani’s political fortunes largely rest with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, shown here in 2015 with the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Maj. Sune Engel Rasmussen, WSJ, "Facing Threats at Home and Abroad, Iran’s President Takes a Harder Line," 11 July 2018 China has enjoyed a long-running technology boom that has put it on par with Silicon Valley in terms of money raised and fortunes made. Alexandra Stevenson,, "Xiaomi’s weak IPO raises doubts about China’s tech boom," 9 July 2018 Technology fortunes make up about a fifth of the more than $5 trillion in wealth tracked by the Bloomberg index, more than any other sector. Tom Metcalf And Jack Witzig,, "Zuckerberg tops Buffett as world's 3rd-richest," 6 July 2018 But on Tuesday, the Three Lions’ fortunes changed for the better. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "England fans went crazy over the penalty shootout win against Colombia," 3 July 2018 Midnight Friday-Saturday 415 Gray; A wedding singer and a waitress are both engaged to the wrong people; fortune intervenes to help them discover each other. Houston Chronicle, "Outside the Cineplex:," 3 July 2018 Trump's political fortunes also improved this week with a series of primary elections. Author: Ken Thomas, Catherine Lucey, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump enjoying a hot streak, a break from immigration news," 30 June 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

13 Sep 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).


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