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 Naked Wines claims to have a solution for wine lovers who don't want to pay a small fortune for great wine. Meredith Gallo,, "Is a Naked Wines subscription worth it for wine drinkers?," 5 Sep. 2020 So light your favorite candles, put on your coziest pajamas, and get ready to do a facial without spending a fortune from the comfort of your own bathroom. Megan Deem, Better Homes & Gardens, "The Ultimate 4-Step Facial You Can Do at Home," 4 Sep. 2020 Some demonstrators are also demanding the resignation of Mayor Ted Wheeler, a white man and the scion of a timber company fortune. Gillian Flaccus, Star Tribune, "Portland's grim reality: 100 days of protests, many violent," 4 Sep. 2020 Without some fortune, and the best version of this Fuel team this season, Dallas’ third Overwatch season could end this weekend at the hands of Decay. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "Dallas Fuel need a little luck to keep their season alive. But before that, they need to overcome ‘Decay’ and the Justice," 4 Sep. 2020 Right now, the White House can save America a fortune by recognizing that the costs of the Pelosi taxpayer haircut far outweigh the benefits. James Freeman, WSJ, "Pelosi Misses Appointment for Taxpayer Haircut," 4 Sep. 2020 Forbes' breakdown of the star's billion-dollar fortune includes $300 million in cash and investments and a $60 million stake in BET+. Chevaz Clarke, CBS News, "Tyler Perry is Hollywood's newest billionaire, Forbes says," 3 Sep. 2020 Activities include a marionette show, a theatrical show, a fortune teller booth, a monster museum, a mad science show and spooky storytelling. Christine Fernando, The Indianapolis Star, "Conner Prairie honors 200th anniversary of Legend of Sleepy Hollow with haunted corn maze," 2 Sep. 2020 Albeit, good fortune in tourism took another hit in 2020 with the emergence of the coronavirus. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Hurricane Dorian destructive force still an enigma 1 year later," 1 Sep. 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

10 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fortune.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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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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