What does the idiom "Fortune favours the bold" mean?

Idioms are generally defined as groups of words that form a meaningful whole when they come together, even though the words in them do not make sense on their own. They have produced many idioms according to their own cultural characteristics in communities using the English language. What does Fortune favours the bold mean? In what situations is Fortune favours the bold used?

Meaning of "Fortune favours the bold"


The phrase ‘Fortune favours the bold’ is an old Latin proverb - ‘audentis Fortuna juvat’ - which means that those who take risks have an increased chance of success. In other words, having the courage to make bold decisions may pay off, and the more daring you are, the more likely you are to succeed. The phrase is frequently used to encourage people to take chances in order to get ahead.


The phrase ‘Fortune favours the bold’ is derived from the Latin proverb ‘audentis Fortuna juvat’, which was coined by Virgil in the Aeneid, an epic poem written some two thousand years ago. In the poem, Virgil wrote: ‘Audentis Fortuna Juvat: For the fortunes of the bold are ever favourable.’ The phrase has been used by a number of influential figures throughout history, including Cicero and Napoleon, as a way of encouraging people to take risks in order to achieve success.


‘Fortune favours the bold’ is typically used to encourage people to take risks in pursuit of their goals and dreams. By taking bold steps and pushing past our comfort zones, we can open ourselves up to new opportunities and experiences, and increase our chance of success. It is a reminder that taking risks can be beneficial, and that we should not be afraid to step outside our comfort zone if we want to reap the rewards.

Example Sentences

  • “If you want to succeed, you have to take some risks. Fortune favours the bold!”
  • “I know it’s scary, but sometimes you have to take a leap of faith. Remember, Fortune favours the bold!”
  • “Don’t be afraid of failure. Fortune favours the bold and you never know what might happen if you take that first step.”

The meanings of the words in the "Fortune favours the bold" idiom

Beyond the Literal: Figurative Language in Idioms

Idioms often use figurative language to convey a message that is not meant to be taken literally. For instance, the idiom "bite the bullet" means to endure a painful or difficult situation without complaint, while "hold your horses" means to be patient and wait. Other idioms, like "kick the bucket" or "pop your clogs," use euphemisms to talk about death.


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