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fortuitous Syllabification: for·tu·i·tous
Pronunciation: /fôrˈto͞oədəs/

Definition of fortuitous in English:


1Happening by accident or chance rather than design: the similarity between the paintings may not be simply fortuitous
chance, adventitious, unexpected, unanticipated, unpredictable, unforeseen, unlooked-for, serendipitous, casual, incidental, coincidental, random, accidental, inadvertent, unintentional, unintended, unplanned, unpremeditated
1.1 informal Happening by a lucky chance; fortunate: from a cash standpoint, the company’s timing is fortuitous
More example sentences
  • On a similar theme, red is a lucky or fortuitous colour so wedding banquets in Japan tend to have red food included.
  • Violence itself becomes a means of reassurance, a fortuitous opportunity through which the strength of re-enforced steel is tested.
  • In our analysis, we took advantage of these fortuitous differences by incorporating weather as a categorical factor.
lucky, fluky, fortunate, providential, advantageous, timely, opportune, serendipitous, heaven-sent


The traditional, etymological meaning of fortuitous is ‘happening by chance’: a fortuitous meeting is a chance meeting, which might turn out to be either a good thing or a bad thing. In modern uses, however, fortuitous tends more often to be used to refer to fortunate outcomes, and the word has become more or less a synonym for ‘lucky’ or ‘fortunate.’ This use is frowned upon as being not etymologically correct and is best avoided except in informal contexts.


Pronunciation: /fôrˈto͞oədəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • Oh - and the apple slice is not lacking in fortuitousness - it exceeded my expectations.
  • Once that point is recognized, quantum mechanics emerges from the principle of genuine fortuitousness combined with the embodiment of spacetime symmetry, without any reference to degrees of freedom of particles or fields.
  • In starting from the surface, whether it be actual or reflected, Sawyer views such things as choice, understanding, consciousness through a prism of fortuitousness.


Mid 17th century: from Latin fortuitus, from forte 'by chance', from fors 'chance, luck'.

Words that rhyme with fortuitous

circuitous, gratuitous
Definition of fortuitous in:
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