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n. pl. ser·en·dip·i·ties
1. The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.
2. The fact or occurrence of such discoveries.
3. An instance of making such a discovery.

[From the characters in the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip, who made such discoveries, from Persian Sarandīp, Sri Lanka, from Arabic Sarandīb, ultimately from Sanskrit Siṃhaladvīpaḥ : Siṃhalaḥ, Sri Lanka + dvīpaḥ, island; see Dhivehi.]

ser′en·dip′i·tous adj.
ser′en·dip′i·tous·ly adv.
Word History: We are indebted to the English author Horace Walpole for the word serendipity, which he coined in one of the 3,000 or more letters on which (along with his novel The Castle of Otranto, considered the first Gothic novel) his literary reputation rests. In a letter of January 28, 1754, in which he discusses a certain painting, Walpole mentions a discovery about the significance of a Venetian coat of arms that he has made while looking at random into an old book—a method by which he had apparently made other worthwhile discoveries before: "This discovery I made by a talisman [a procedure achieving results like a charm] ... by which I find everything I want ... wherever I dip for it. This discovery, indeed, is almost of that kind which I call Serendipity, a very expressive word." Walpole formed the word on an old name for Sri Lanka, Serendip. He explained that this name was part of the title of "a silly fairy tale, called The Three Princes of Serendip: as their highnesses travelled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of...."


in a serendipitous manner; fortunately; by lucky chance
References in periodicals archive ?
It usually only happens in the movies, but things turned out for the best for lesbian couple Tori Monaco and Berkley Cade when they serendipitously proposed to each other at the same time through a game of Pictionary.
SERENDIPITOUSLY tripping over Ray Conniff's jolly and still freshsounding 1959 version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, I got to wondering why I had never heard a Welsh version.
It was thrust upon me, somewhat serendipitously," Dr Temple explained.
Knowing that bullies act out because of their own vulnerabilities, Kelly Ann's program serendipitously addresses those as well.
Still estranged from her sister, she serendipitously makes all the right connections to become an overnight success as the creator of an innovative fashion app.
Coincidentally or serendipitously, Trump addressed his Twitter usage on Monday, garnering more than 109,000 likes and 31,000 retweets.
I moved toward administrative roles apparently serendipitously after studying computer science.
What was supposed to be a writing cabin and guest house became their full-time abode and they quickly discovered that they had serendipitously discovered a better way of life.
Serendipitously, they met a gay Millipede record producer named Aldo who encourages them in their performance arena ambitions.
Dubbed "The Rebel" for her staunch defense of human rights in the country, Aziz predicted "that the working class will start a revolution" in Temptation of Absolute Power, which was serendipitously released a day before the 25 January Revolution.
I cited a few other examples I've encountered serendipitously over the years.