What does fortune mean?

Definitions for fortune
ˈfɔr tʃənfor·tune

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word fortune.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. luck, fortune, chance, hazardnoun

    an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that causes an event to result one way rather than another

    "bad luck caused his downfall"; "we ran into each other by pure chance"

  2. fortunenoun

    a large amount of wealth or prosperity

  3. luck, fortunenoun

    an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that leads to a favorable outcome

    "it was my good luck to be there"; "they say luck is a lady"; "it was as if fortune guided his hand"

  4. fortune, destiny, fate, luck, lot, circumstances, portionnoun

    your overall circumstances or condition in life (including everything that happens to you)

    "whatever my fortune may be"; "deserved a better fate"; "has a happy lot"; "the luck of the Irish"; "a victim of circumstances"; "success that was her portion"


  1. fortunenoun

    Destiny or fate.

  2. fortunenoun

    A prediction or set of predictions about a person's future provided by a fortune teller.

  3. fortunenoun

    A small slip of paper with wise or vaguely prophetic words printed on it, baked into a fortune cookie.

  4. fortunenoun

    A chance.

  5. fortunenoun

    Good luck.

  6. fortunenoun

    One's wealth; the amount of money one has; especially, if it is vast.

  7. fortunenoun

    A large amount of money

    That car must be worth a fortune! How could you afford it?

  8. fortuneverb

    To happen, take place.

  9. Etymology: From fortuna. The plural form fortunae meant, which also gave the meaning of.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. FORTUNEnoun

    Etymology: fortuna, Latin; fortune, French.

    Fortune, that arrant whore,
    Ne’er turns the key to th’ poor. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    Though fortune ’s malice overthrow my state,
    My mind exceeds the compass of her wheel. William Shakespeare, H. VI.

    Rejoice, said he, to-day;
    In you the fortune of Great Britain lies:
    Among so brave a people you are they
    Whom heav’n has chose to fight for such a prize. Dryden.

    The adequate meaning of chance, as distinguished from fortune, in that the latter is understood to befal only rational agents, but chance to be among inanimate bodies. Richard Bentley.

    His father dying, he was driven to London to seek his fortune. Jonathan Swift.

    This terrestrial globe has been surrounded by the fortune and boldness of many navigators. William Temple.

    No, he shall eat, and die with me, or live;
    Our equal crimes shall equal fortune give. John Dryden, Innocence.

    If thou do’st
    As this instructs thee, thou do’st make thy way
    To noble fortunes. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    That eyeless head of thine was first fram’d flesh
    To raise my fortunes. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    But tell me, Tityrus, what heav’nly power
    Preserv’d your fortunes in that fatal hour? John Dryden, Virg. Past.

    The fate which governs poets, thought it fit
    He should not raise his fortunes by his wit. Dryden.

    He was younger son to a gentleman of a good birth, but small fortune. Jonathan Swift.

    I am thought some heiress rich in lands,
    Fled to escape a cruel guardian’s hands;
    Which may produce a story worth the telling,
    Of the next sparks that go a fortune stealing. Prol. to Orphan.

    The fortune hunters have already cast their eyes upon her, and take care to plant themselves in her view. Spectator.

    When miss delights in her spinnet,
    A fiddler may a fortune get. Jonathan Swift.

    You who mens fortunes in their faces read,
    To find out mine, look not, alas, on me:
    But mark her face, and all the features heed;
    For only there is writ my destiny. Abraham Cowley, Mistress.

  2. To Fortuneverb

    To befall; to fall out; to happen; to come casually to pass.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    It fortuned, as fair it then befell,
    Behind his back, unweeting, where he stood,
    Of ancient time there was a springing well,
    From which fast trickled forth a silver flood. Fairy Queen.

    It fortuned the same night that a Christian, serving a Turk in the camp, secretly gave the watchmen warning that the Turks prepared the next day to give a general assault. Richard Knolles.

    I’ll tell you as we pass along,
    That you will wonder what hath fortuned. William Shakespeare.

    Here fortun’d Curl to slide. Alexander Pope, Dunciad.


  1. fortune

    Fortune refers to chance or luck as an arbitrary force affecting human affairs, often associated with wealth or success. It can also refer to a large amount of wealth or prosperity.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Fortunenoun

    the arrival of something in a sudden or unexpected manner; chance; accident; luck; hap; also, the personified or deified power regarded as determining human success, apportioning happiness and unhappiness, and distributing arbitrarily or fortuitously the lots of life

  2. Fortunenoun

    that which befalls or is to befall one; lot in life, or event in any particular undertaking; fate; destiny; as, to tell one's fortune

  3. Fortunenoun

    that which comes as the result of an undertaking or of a course of action; good or ill success; especially, favorable issue; happy event; success; prosperity as reached partly by chance and partly by effort

  4. Fortunenoun

    wealth; large possessions; large estate; riches; as, a gentleman of fortune

  5. Fortunenoun

    to make fortunate; to give either good or bad fortune to

  6. Fortunenoun

    to provide with a fortune

  7. Fortunenoun

    to presage; to tell the fortune of

  8. Fortuneverb

    to fall out; to happen

  9. Etymology: [OF. fortuner, L. fortunare. See Fortune, n.]


  1. Fortune

    Fortune is a global business magazine published by Time Inc. and founded by Henry Luce in 1930. The publishing business, consisting of Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated, grew to become Time Warner. In turn, AOL grew as it acquired Time Warner in 2000 when Time Warner was the world's largest media conglomerate. Fortune's primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Forbes, which is also published bi-weekly, and Bloomberg Businessweek. The magazine is especially known for its annual features ranking companies by revenue. CNNMoney.com is the online home of Fortune, in addition to Money.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Fortune

    for′tūn, n. whatever comes by lot or chance: luck: the arbitrary ordering of events: the lot that falls to one in life: success: wealth.—v.i. to befall.—v.t. to determine.—adj. For′tunāte, happening by good fortune: lucky: auspicious: felicitous.—adv. For′tunātely.—ns. For′tunāteness; For′tune-book, a book helpful in telling fortunes.—adj. For′tuned, supplied by fortune.—n. For′tune-hunt′er, a man who hunts for marriage with a woman of fortune.—adj. For′tuneless, without a fortune: luckless.—v.i. For′tune-tell, to reveal futurity: to tell one his fortune.—ns. For′tune-tell′er, one who pretends to foretell one's fortune; For′tune-tell′ing.—v.t. For′tunīse (Spens.), to make fortunate or happy. [Fr.,—L. fortuna.]

Suggested Resources

  1. fortune

    Song lyrics by fortune -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by fortune on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Fortune is ranked #3051 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Fortune surname appeared 11,748 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 4 would have the surname Fortune.

    56.8% or 6,676 total occurrences were White.
    36.8% or 4,324 total occurrences were Black.
    2.4% or 293 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    2.1% or 257 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    0.9% or 112 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.7% or 87 total occurrences were Asian.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'fortune' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4417

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'fortune' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3536

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'fortune' in Nouns Frequency: #1359

How to pronounce fortune?

How to say fortune in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of fortune in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of fortune in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of fortune in a Sentence

  1. Terence:

    Fortune helps the brave.

  2. The Talmud:

    Man has three friends on whose company he relies. First, wealth which goes with him only while good fortune lasts. Second, his relatives; they go only as far as the grave, leave him there. The third friend, his good deeds, go with him beyond the grave.

  3. Andrew Wheeler:

    While that’s flattering, I am not thinking about it, no, i could have put my hat in the ring for the administrator. I wasn’t interested in that. I am still not interested in that. Trump said Wheeler would assume duties as acting administrator of the EPA on July 9. I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright! Trump tweeted on July 5. Here are 3 things you need to know about the interim EPA chief before he officially changes roles. A former coal industry lobbyist, Wheeler helped lead an industry fight against regulations aimed at protecting Americans' health and addressing climate change. Many in the industry argued that the regulations would stifle business. Throughout his decades-long career, Wheeler has reportedly lobbied for at least 20 different companies, includingSargento Foods Inc., Whirlpool Corporation, and Xcel Energy, among others. During his time as a lobbyist, Wheelerworked alongside Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to reduce the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah by 85 percent and reserve a piece of the land for uranium mining, Fortune Magazine reported. In recent years, Wheeler has lobbied for Energy Fuels Resources Inc. and Murray Energy Corporation, which is run by longtime Trump supporter Robert Murray, who spent roughly $300,000 on the president's inauguration, according toThe New York Times. Wheeler worked for the EPA in the early 1990s, focusing on chemicals and toxic substance-related issues during the Bush and Clinton administrations. He later transitioned into the role of staff chief of the Senate Environment Committee andserved as counsel to Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla. Wheeler joined the international law firmFaegre Baker Daniels after his stint at the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. During his time at the firm, he helped counsel a variety of clients on comprehensive legislative, regulatory and operational strategies, the firm states on its website. He worked on every major piece of environmental and energy-related legislation before Congress over the span of a decade, ProPublica reported.

  4. Martial:

    Fortune gives too much to many, enough to none.

  5. William Shakespeare:

    There is a tide in the affairs of men Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for fortune

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"fortune." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/fortune>.

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    the largest tarsal bone; forms the human heel
    A impounding
    B calcaneus
    C ventricle
    D urus

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