Definition for FOR'TUNE

FOR'TUNE, n. [Fr. from L. fortuna; Sp. and It. fortuna; Arm. fortun; from the root of Sax. faran, to go, or L. fero or porto. So in D. gebeuren, to happen, to fall, from the root of bear; gebeurtenis, an event. We find the same word in opportunus, (ob-portunus,) seasonable. The primary sense is an event, that which comes or befalls. So Fr. heureux, from heure, hour, that is, time, season, and L. tempestivus. See Hour and Time. The Russ. pora, time, season, is of this family, and fortune is closely allied to it.]

  1. Properly, chance; accident; luck; the arrival of something in a sudden or unexpected manner. Hence the heathens deified chance, and consecrated temples and altars to the goddess. Hence the modern use of the word, for a power supposed to distribute the lots of life, according to her own humor. Though fortune's malice overthrow my state. Shak.
  2. The good or ill that befalls man. In you the fortune of Great Britain lies. Dryden.
  3. Success, good or bad; event. Our equal crimes shall equal fortune give. Dryden.
  4. The chance of life; means of living; wealth. His father dying, he was driven to London to seek his fortune. Swift.
  5. Estate; possessions; as, a gentleman of small fortune.
  6. A large estate; great wealth. This is often the sense of the word standing alone or unqualified; as, a gentleman or lady of fortune. To the ladies we say, beware of fortune-hunters.
  7. The portion of a man or woman; generally of a woman.
  8. Futurity; future state or events; destiny. The young are anxious to have their fortunes told. You who men's fortunes in their faces read. Cowley.

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