Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to fortune: fortune teller, horoscope, Fortune 500


a. The chance happening of fortunate or adverse events; luck: He decided to travel, and his fortune turned for the worse.
b. fortunes The turns of luck in the course of one's life.
c. Success, especially when at least partially resulting from luck: No matter what they tried, it ended in fortune.
a. A person's condition or standing in life determined by material possessions or financial wealth: She pursued her fortune in Rome.
b. Extensive amounts of material possessions or money; wealth.
c. A large sum of money: spent a fortune on the new car.
3. often Fortune A hypothetical, often personified force or power that favorably or unfavorably governs the events of one's life: We believe that Fortune is on our side.
a. Fate; destiny: told my fortune with tarot cards.
b. A foretelling of one's destiny.
v. for·tuned, for·tun·ing, for·tunes
1. Archaic To endow with wealth.
2. Obsolete To ascribe or give good or bad fortune to.
v.intr. Archaic
To occur by chance; happen.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin fortūna; see bher- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. an amount of wealth or material prosperity, esp, when unqualified, a great amount
2. small fortune a large sum of money
3. (European Myth & Legend) a power or force, often personalized, regarded as being responsible for human affairs; chance
4. luck, esp when favourable
5. (often plural) a person's lot or destiny
a. (tr) to endow with great wealth
b. (intr) to happen by chance
[C13: from Old French, from Latin fortūna, from fors chance]
ˈfortuneless adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈfɔr tʃən)

n., v. -tuned, -tun•ing. n.
1. position in life as determined by wealth: to make one's fortune.
2. wealth; riches: lost a fortune.
3. an ample stock of material possessions: inherited a fortune.
4. chance; luck: had the bad fortune to go bankrupt.
5. fortunes, varied occurrences that happen or are to happen to a person in life.
6. fate; destiny: to tell someone's fortune.
7. (cap.) chance personified, commonly regarded as a mythical being distributing arbitrarily or capriciously the lots of life.
8. Archaic. to endow with a fortune.
9. Archaic. to chance; happen.
[1250–1300; Middle English < Old French < Latin fortūna chance, luck, fortune]
for′tune•less, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


- Latin fors, "chance," formed fortuna, "that which fate brings along," hence fortune, "luck" or "good luck."
See also related terms for luck.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.



See Also: RICHES

  1. Adversity was spreading over him like mold —Irvin S. Cobb
  2. Bad moments, like good ones, tend to be grouped together —Edna O’Brien
  3. Blessed as the meek who shall inherit the earth —Anon

    This illustrates how a quote can be transposed into a simile.

  4. The day of fortune is like a harvest day, we must be busy when the corn is ripe —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  5. Disasters … rolling in the brain like pebbles —Denise Levertov
  6. Fortune is as … brittle as glass —Publilius Syrus
  7. Fortune is like glass: she breaks when she is brightest —Latin proverb
  8. Fortune is like the market, where if you will bide your time, the price will fall —German proverb

    A variation by Francis Bacon begins like the above and finishes as follows: “If you can stay a little, the price will fall.”

  9. Fortunes made in no time are like shirts made in no time; it’s ten to one if they hang long together —Douglas Jerrold
  10. Fortune sits on him like a ton of shit —Irving Feldman
  11. Good fortune, like ripe fruit, ought to be enjoyed while it is present —Epictetus
  12. Good fortune seemed to be following me like a huge affectionate dog —John Braine
  13. It’s a nightmare like trying to conquer the Himalayas on roller skates or swim the English Channel lashed to a cannon —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  14. Luck is like having a rice dumpling fly into your mouth —Japanese proverb
  15. A luckless man … the kind of man who would have gotten two complimentary tickets for the Titanic —William Mcllvanney

    The actual text in Scotch author Mcllvanney’s Papers of Tony Veitch reads: “The kinnaa man woulda got two complimentary tickets for the Titanic.”

  16. Luck shines in his face like good health —Anon
  17. Misfortunes disappeared, as though swept away by a great flood of sunlight —Emile Zola
  18. Misfortunes, like the owl, avoid the light —Charles Churchill
  19. Misfortunes … passed over her like wild geese —Ellen Glasgow
  20. Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle —James Russell Lowell
  21. The storms of adversity, like those of the ocean, rouse the faculties —Captain Frederick Marryatt
  22. Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head —William Shakespeare
  23. Tried to conceal his misfortune as if it were a vice —Mihail Lermontov
  24. To wait for luck is like waiting for death —Japanese proverb
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Good fortune is good luck.

He has since had the good fortune to be promoted.
He could hardly believe his good fortune.
It's lucky that I'm going abroad.
It's a good job you were there.

Note that in American English, you use a good thing, rather than a good job.

It's a good thing you didn't call me that night.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012


Past participle: fortuned
Gerund: fortuning

I fortune
you fortune
he/she/it fortunes
we fortune
you fortune
they fortune
I fortuned
you fortuned
he/she/it fortuned
we fortuned
you fortuned
they fortuned
Present Continuous
I am fortuning
you are fortuning
he/she/it is fortuning
we are fortuning
you are fortuning
they are fortuning
Present Perfect
I have fortuned
you have fortuned
he/she/it has fortuned
we have fortuned
you have fortuned
they have fortuned
Past Continuous
I was fortuning
you were fortuning
he/she/it was fortuning
we were fortuning
you were fortuning
they were fortuning
Past Perfect
I had fortuned
you had fortuned
he/she/it had fortuned
we had fortuned
you had fortuned
they had fortuned
I will fortune
you will fortune
he/she/it will fortune
we will fortune
you will fortune
they will fortune
Future Perfect
I will have fortuned
you will have fortuned
he/she/it will have fortuned
we will have fortuned
you will have fortuned
they will have fortuned
Future Continuous
I will be fortuning
you will be fortuning
he/she/it will be fortuning
we will be fortuning
you will be fortuning
they will be fortuning
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been fortuning
you have been fortuning
he/she/it has been fortuning
we have been fortuning
you have been fortuning
they have been fortuning
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been fortuning
you will have been fortuning
he/she/it will have been fortuning
we will have been fortuning
you will have been fortuning
they will have been fortuning
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been fortuning
you had been fortuning
he/she/it had been fortuning
we had been fortuning
you had been fortuning
they had been fortuning
I would fortune
you would fortune
he/she/it would fortune
we would fortune
you would fortune
they would fortune
Past Conditional
I would have fortuned
you would have fortuned
he/she/it would have fortuned
we would have fortuned
you would have fortuned
they would have fortuned
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.fortune - an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that causes an event to result one way rather than anotherfortune - 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"
phenomenon - any state or process known through the senses rather than by intuition or reasoning
mischance, mishap, bad luck - an unpredictable outcome that is unfortunate; "if I didn't have bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all"
even chance, tossup, toss-up - an unpredictable phenomenon; "it's a toss-up whether he will win or lose"
2.fortune - a large amount of wealth or prosperity
hoarded wealth, treasure - accumulated wealth in the form of money or jewels etc.; "the pirates hid their treasure on a small island in the West Indies"
3.fortune - 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"
phenomenon - any state or process known through the senses rather than by intuition or reasoning
fluke, good fortune, good luck - a stroke of luck
4.fortune - your overall circumstances or condition in life (including everything that happens to you)fortune - 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"
condition - a mode of being or form of existence of a person or thing; "the human condition"
good fortune, good luck, luckiness - an auspicious state resulting from favorable outcomes
providence - a manifestation of God's foresightful care for his creatures
bad luck, ill luck, tough luck, misfortune - an unfortunate state resulting from unfavorable outcomes
failure - lack of success; "he felt that his entire life had been a failure"; "that year there was a crop failure"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. large sum of money, bomb (Brit. slang), packet (slang), bundle (slang), big money, big bucks (informal, chiefly U.S.), top dollar (informal), megabucks (U.S. & Canad. slang), an arm and a leg (informal), king's ransom, pretty penny (informal) Eating out all the time costs a fortune.
2. wealth, means, property, riches, resources, assets, pile (informal), possessions, treasure, prosperity, mint, gold mine, wad (U.S. & Canad. slang), affluence, opulence, tidy sum (informal) He made his fortune in car sales.
wealth poverty, hardship, privation, penury, destitution, indigence
3. luck, accident, fluke (informal), stroke of luck, serendipity, hap (archaic), twist of fate, run of luck Such good fortune must be shared with my friends.
4. chance, fate, destiny, providence, the stars, Lady Luck, kismet, fortuity He is certainly being smiled on by fortune.
plural noun destiny, life, lot, experiences, history, condition, success, means, circumstances, expectation, adventures She kept up with the fortunes of the family.
"Fortune, that favours fools" [Ben Jonson The Alchemist]
"The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" [William Shakespeare Hamlet]
"Base Fortune, now I see, that in thy wheel"
"There is a point, to which when men aspire,"
"They tumble headlong down" [Christopher Marlowe Edward II]
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. The quality shared by random, unintended, or unpredictable events or this quality regarded as the cause of such events:
2. Success attained as a result of chance:
Idiom: good fortune.
3. All things, such as money, property, or goods, having economic value:
asset (used in plural), capital, mean (used in plural), resource (used in plural), wealth, wherewithal.
4. A great amount of accumulated money and precious possessions:
5. A large sum of money:
Slang: pile.
6. That which is inevitably destined:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
auîur, auîæfigæfa, heppni
būrėjaburti kam ateitįfortūnaišburti kam ateitįkrūva pinigų
tài sản to lớn


A. N
1. (= luck) → fortuna f, suerte f
by good fortunepor fortuna
we had the good fortune to find himtuvimos la suerte de encontrarlo
the fortunes of warlas vicisitudes or las peripecias de la guerra
he restored the company's fortunesrestableció la prosperidad de la empresa, devolvió el éxito a la compañía
to seek one's fortune elsewherebuscar fortuna en otro lugar
to try one's fortuneprobar fortuna
2. (= fate) → suerte f, destino m
to tell sb's fortunedecir a algn la buenaventura
3. (= property, wealth) → fortuna f
to come into a fortuneheredar una fortuna
to marry a fortunecasarse con un hombre/una mujer acaudalado/a
4. (= huge amount of money) → dineral m, platal m (LAm)
to cost a fortunecostar un ojo de la cara, valer un dineral
to make a fortuneenriquecerse, ganar un dineral
a small fortuneun montón de dinero, un dineral
B. CPD fortune cookie N (esp US) galleta china con un mensaje sobre la suerte
fortune hunter Ncazafortunas mf inv
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈfɔːrn] n
(= large amount of money) → fortune f
Kate earns a fortune! → Kate gagne une fortune!
to make a fortune → gagner beaucoup d'argent
a small fortune → une petite fortune
his personal fortune (= personal wealth) → sa fortune personnelle
(= luck) → chance f
to tell sb's fortune → dire la bonne aventure à quelqu'un
to have mixed fortunes (= varying levels of success) → connaître des hauts et des bas
The electoral fortunes of the party may decline → Le succès électoral du parti pourrait décliner.
to follow the fortunes of sb [film, programme, book] → suivre le parcours de qn
The film follows the fortunes of two women → Le film suit les parcours de deux femmes.fortune cookie n (US)gâteau m de riz chinois (renfermant un horoscope ou une devise)fortune-teller [ˈfɔːrntɛlər] n (gen)diseur/euse m/f de bonne aventure; (with cards)cartomancien(ne) m/f, tireur/euse m/f de cartesfortune-telling [ˈfɔːrntɛlɪŋ] n (gen)divination f; (with cards)cartomancie f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= fate)Schicksal nt, → Geschick nt; (= chance)Zufall m; she followed his fortunes with interestsie verfolgte sein Geschick mit Interesse; the fortunes of wardas Auf und Ab des Krieges; he had the good fortune to have rich parentser hatte das Glück, reiche Eltern zu haben; by good fortuneglücklicherweise, zum Glück; by sheer good fortunerein zufällig; fortune has favoured (Brit) or favored (US) himdas Glück war ihm hold; fortune favours the brave or bold (Brit Prov) → das Glück ist nur dem Tüchtigen hold; ill fortunePech nt; to tell somebody’s fortunejdm wahrsagen
(= money)Reichtum m, → Vermögen nt; to come into/make a fortuneein Vermögen erben/machen; to seek/make one’s fortunesein Glück versuchen/machen; to marry a fortunereich heiraten; it costs a fortunees kostet ein Vermögen; she spends a (small) fortune on clothessie gibt ein (kleines) Vermögen für Kleidung aus


nMitgiftjäger(in) m(f)
nWahrsager(in) m(f)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈfɔːtʃən] n
a. (chance) → fortuna
the fortunes of war → le vicende della guerra
by good fortune → per fortuna
to tell sb's fortune → predire l'avvenire a qn
b. (money) → fortuna
to come into a fortune → ereditare una fortuna
to make a fortune → farsi una fortuna or un patrimonio
a small fortune (fam) → un patrimonio
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈfoːtʃən) noun
1. whatever happens by chance or (good or bad) luck. whatever fortune may bring.
2. a large amount of money. That ring must be worth a fortune!
ˈfortunate (-nət) adjective
having good fortune; lucky. It was fortunate that no-one was killed in the accident.
ˈfortunately adverb
ˈfortune-teller noun
someone who tells fortunes.
tell (someone's) fortune
to foretell what will happen to someone in the future. The gypsy told my fortune.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


ثَرْوَة majlant formue Vermögen τύχη fortuna omaisuus chance bogatstvo fortuna 大金 재산 fortuin formue fortuna fortuna состояние förmögenhet ทรัพย์สมบัติมากมาย servet tài sản to lớn 财富
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
A WRITER of Fables was passing through a lonely forest when he met a Fortune. Greatly alarmed, he tried to climb a tree, but the Fortune pulled him down and bestowed itself upon him with cruel persistence.
"Why did you try to run away?" said the Fortune, when his struggles had ceased and his screams were stilled.
But whose fortune soever was upon the increase, mine seemed to be upon the wane, and I found nothing present, except two or three boatswains, or such fellows, but as for the commanders, they were generally of two sorts: 1.
Besides this, I observed that the men made no scruple to set themselves out, and to go a-fortunehunting, as they call it, when they had really no fortune themselves to demand it, or merit to deserve it; and that they carried it so high, that a woman was scarce allowed to inquire after the character or estate of the person that pretended to her.
For men's minds, will either feed upon their own good, or upon others' evil; and who wanteth the one, will prey upon the other; and whoso is out of hope, to attain to another's virtue, will seek to come at even hand, by depressing another's fortune.
She hath married a gentleman, though perhaps not quite her equal in fortune; and if he hath any perfections in her eye which can make up that deficiency, I see no reason why I should object to her choice of her own happiness; which I, no more than herself, imagine to consist only in immense wealth.
The first species of oligarchy is, when the generality of the state are men of moderate and not too large property; for this gives them leisure for the management of public affairs: and, as they are a numerous body, it necessarily follows that the supreme power must be in the laws, and not in men; for as they are far removed from a monarchical government, and have not sufficient fortune to neglect their private affairs, while they are too many to be supported by the public, they will of course determine to be governed by the laws, and not by each other.
Yet Sara was plainly anxious to have her fortune told and must be gratified.
"Diable," said Monte Cristo compassionately, "it is a hard blow for a third-rate fortune."
Now, as the fact of becoming a prince from a private station presupposes either ability or fortune, it is clear that one or other of these things will mitigate in some degree many difficulties.
In all the records of history there has never been a time when a victorious fortune has been so faithful to men making war upon the sea.
The son, a steady respectable young man, was amply provided for by the fortune of his mother, which had been large, and half of which devolved on him on his coming of age.