position in life as determined by wealth: to make one's fortune.
wealth or riches: to lose a small fortune in bad investments.
great wealth; ample stock of money, property, and the like: to be worth a fortune.
chance; luck: They each had the bad fortune to marry the wrong person.
fortunes, things that happen or are to happen to a person in his or her life.
fate; lot; destiny: whatever my fortune may be.
(initial capital letter) chance personified, commonly regarded as a mythical being distributing arbitrarily or capriciously the lots of life: Perhaps Fortune will smile on our venture.
good luck; success; prosperity: a family blessed by fortune.
Archaic. a wealthy woman; an heiress.
verb (used with object), fortuned, fortuning.
Archaic. to endow (someone or something) with a fortune.
verb (used without object), fortuned, fortuning.
Archaic. to chance or happen; come by chance.
tell someone's fortune, to profess to inform someone of future events in his or her own life; foretell.

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French < Latin fortūna chance, luck, fortune, derivative of fort- (stem of fors) chance

fortuneless, adjective

4. fate, destiny, providence; kismet, karma. 7. Moira; Lady Luck. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fortune (ˈfɔːtʃən)
1.  an amount of wealth or material prosperity, esp, when unqualified, a great amount
2.  small fortune a large sum of money
3.  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
6.  archaic
 a.  (tr) to endow with great wealth
 b.  (intr) to happen by chance
[C13: from Old French, from Latin fortūna, from fors chance]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "chance, luck as a force in human affairs," from O.Fr. fortune (12c.), from L. fortuna, from fors (gen. fortis) "chance, luck," from PIE base *bhrtis-. Often personified as a goddess; her wheel betokens vicissitude. Sense of "owned wealth" first found in Spenser; probably it evolved from senses
of "one's condition or standing in life," hence "position as determined by wealth," then "wealth itself." Soldier of fortune first attested 1660s. The fortune cookie (1962) is said to have been invented in 1918 by David Jung, Chinese immigrant to America who established Hong Kong Noodle Co., who handed out cookies that contained uplifting messages as a promotional gimmick. Fortune 500 "most profitable American companies" is 1955, from the list published annually in "Fortune" magazine.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see make a fortune.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
The last of the moo shu pork is devoured and the fortune cookies arrive: fate
  in folded wafers.
Fortune and fame can be fleeting, and if you pursue them above all else you are
  fostering unhappiness in your life.
And looking at the past decade as a whole, fortune has clearly smiled on
That's not irresponsible, people have to accept that you cannot go around
  blaming others for their poor fortune.
Idioms & Phrases
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