Share this entry
fortuitous Line breaks: for|tuit|ous
Pronunciation: /fɔːˈtjuːɪtəs/

Definition of fortuitous in English:


1Happening by chance rather than intention: the similarity between the paintings may not be simply fortuitous
1.1Happening by a lucky chance; fortunate: the ball went into the goal by a fortuitous ricochet
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, fortunate, providential, advantageous, timely, opportune, serendipitous, expedient, heaven-sent, auspicious, propitious, felicitous, convenient, apt
informal fluky
British informal jammy


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. Today, however, fortuitous tends to be often used to refer only to fortunate outcomes and the word has become more or less a synonym for ‘lucky’ or ‘fortunate’ ( the ball went into the goal by a fortuitous ricochet). Although this usage is now widespread, it is still regarded by some people as incorrect.


Pronunciation: /fɔːˈtjuːɪtəsnəs/
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:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Related Words