fortune

(redirected from fortunes)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to fortunes: fortune teller, Horoscopes

give hostage to fortune

To do or say something that could jeopardize future success or cause misfortune later on. With the economy at such a precarious level at the moment, the president made it clear that he would take no action that would give hostage to fortune.
See also: fortune, give, hostage

fortune is smiling (up)on (someone)

Someone is especially lucky, fortunate, or successful; good things tend to happen to someone. I hear that Jenny just won some major award, so soon after her huge promotion. It seems that fortune is smiling on her at the moment! Fortune has been smiling upon my younger brother since he was little: things have just always worked out for the best for him.
See also: fortune, smile

fortune smiles (up)on someone

Someone is especially lucky, fortunate, or successful; good things tend to happen to someone. I hear that Jenny just won some major award, so soon after her huge promotion. It seems that fortune smiles on her at the moment! If you're going into business for yourself, just remember that fortune smiles upon those who are willing to take risks.
See also: fortune, smile

tell (someone's) fortune

To (profess to) anticipate and inform someone about certain outcomes or events in his or her near or distant future. This old lady in the apartment next to mine offered to tell my fortune for ten bucks. I never go in for stuff like that, but I'll admit that I'm a bit curious.
See also: fortune, tell

tell fortunes

To (profess to) anticipate, and inform about, future outcomes or see what future events will take place. There's this old lady in the apartment next to mine who tells fortunes for ten bucks. I never go in for stuff like that, but I'll admit that I'm a bit curious.
See also: fortune, tell

the wheel of fortune

The incidental, unforeseen, or random occurrences of life. (Alludes to the wheel that the goddess Fortune was believed to spin, which determined the fate in a person's life.) There's no knowing how this whole thing will pan out—we just have to leave it up to the wheel of fortune.
See also: fortune, of, wheel

fortune favors the bold

Courageous action is often rewarded. The phrase encourages people to do what scares them. A variation is "fortune favors the brave." I know you're nervous about asking for a raise, but keep in mind that fortune favors the bold—you'll never get anything if you don't ask for it. I decided to ask out the most popular girl in school because fortune favors the bold, right?
See also: bold, favor, fortune

hostage to fortune

An act or situation that could create future problems. A company that publicly supports an unpopular political stance often creates a hostage to fortune.
See also: fortune, hostage

small fortune

A large amount of money. I had to spend a small fortune to get my car repaired after the transmission started slipping.
See also: fortune, small

soldier of fortune

1. A soldier who serves the person or organization paying him or her, rather than his or her country; a mercenary. Although the nation only had a small population, it boosted the size of its army by hiring soldiers of fortune.
2. A person who seeks adventure or military engagement for money, pleasure, or fame. The novel depicts a soldier of fortune who risks his life for notoriety.
See also: fortune, of, soldier

come into (some) money

 and come into a (small) fortune
to get some money unexpectedly, usually by inheritance. She came into a lot of money when she turned twenty. I hope I can come into some money some day.
See also: come, money

Every man is the architect of his own fortune.

Prov. Your own decisions and your own actions determine what your life will be like. The teacher told us, "If you work hard, you can become whatever you want. Every man is the architect of his own fortune." You shouldn't blame other people for your problems. Every man is the architect of his own fortune.
See also: every, fortune, man, of

Fortune favors the brave.

 and Fortune favors the bold.
Prov. You will have good luck if you carry out your plans boldly. (Used to encourage people to have the courage to carry out their plans.) Fortune favors the bold, Bob. Quit your day job and work on your novel full-time. Jill: Let's wait till next year before trying to start our own business. Jane: No. We'll do it this year. Fortune favors the brave.
See also: brave, favor, fortune

small fortune

a rather sizeable amount of money. This set of wheels cost me a small fortune. I've got a small fortune tied up in test equipment.
See also: fortune, small

a stroke of luck

Fig. a bit of luck; a lucky happening. I had a stroke of luck and found Tom at home when I called. He's not usually there. Unless I have a stroke of luck, I'm not going to finish this report by tomorrow.
See also: luck, of, stroke

a stroke of luck

also a stroke of fortune
something good that happens to you when you do not expect it To walk in and get a job like that was an incredible stroke of luck.
See also: luck, of, stroke

a hostage to fortune

  (formal)
if something is a hostage to fortune, it could be harmed by things that happen in the future Inviting terrorists to take part in the talks has created a hostage to fortune. (formal)
See also: fortune, hostage

a small fortune

a lot of money Her hair ought to look good - she spends a small fortune on it.
See also: fortune, small

a soldier of fortune

  (literary)
someone who fights for any country or group that will pay him A soldier of fortune in the service of both Christian and Muslim kings, he was constantly fighting from 1065.
See also: fortune, of, soldier

a stroke of luck

something good that happens to you by chance Phil was driving up to Manchester that evening and gave me a lift so that was a stroke of luck. By a stroke of luck, someone at work happened to be selling very cheaply exactly the piece of equipment that I needed.
See put off stride
See also: luck, of, stroke

make a fortune

Also, make a small fortune. Earn a great deal of money, as in He made a fortune on the stock market. Similar expressions are be worth a fortune or small fortune , as in Now that their parents have died, they're worth a small fortune. Make a fortune dates from about 1700, and its use with small from the second half of the 1800s.
See also: fortune, make

try (one's) fortune

To make an effort or take a risk to be successful, especially as a newcomer.
See also: fortune, try
References in classic literature ?
The whole fortune of eighty thousand pounds has virtually passed into his possession already.
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.
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.
But I can tell thee there is no such thing as Fortune in the world, nor does anything which takes place there, be it good or bad, come about by chance, but by the special preordination of heaven; and hence the common saying that 'each of us is the maker of his own Fortune.
From some sense of this, and of the dizzy see-saw - heaven-high, hell-deep - on which men sit clutching; or perhaps fearing that the sources of his fortune might be insidiously traced to some root in the field of petty cash; he stuck to his work, said not a word of his new circumstances, and kept his account with a bank in a different quarter of the town.
Sir," said the notary, "how do you intend disposing of your fortune in case Mademoiselle de Villefort still determines on marrying M.
And in examining their actions and lives one cannot see that they owed anything to fortune beyond opportunity, which brought them the material to mould into the form which seemed best to them.
Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of England; that he came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the place, and was so much delighted with it, that he agreed with Mr.
In that alone, through the fidelity of his fortune and the power of his inspiration, he stands unique amongst the leaders of fleets and sailors.
When the brother heard of all this, and how a turnip had made the gardener so rich, he envied him sorely, and bethought himself how he could contrive to get the same good fortune for himself.
said the Fortune, when his struggles had ceased and his screams were stilled.
As good fortune would have it, the three men in my party were not drinkers.
Yet Sara was plainly anxious to have her fortune told and must be gratified.
From my childhood I have been accustomed to luxury and idleness, and have been bred as though my fortune were large, and my expectations almost without a limit.
It was at this time that Mr Pancks, in discharge of his compact with Clennam, revealed to him the whole of his gipsy story, and told him Little Dorrit's fortune.