fortuitous


Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal.

for·tu·i·tous

 (fôr-to͞o′ĭ-təs, -tyo͞o′-)
adj.
1. Happening by accident or chance. See Synonyms at accidental.
2. Resulting in good fortune; lucky.

[Latin fortuītus; see bher- in Indo-European roots.]

for·tu′i·tous·ly adv.
for·tu′i·tous·ness n.
Usage Note: The traditional meaning of fortuitous is "happening by chance, accidental." Perhaps because many chance events are favorable or because of the similarity of fortuitous to fortunate and felicitous, fortuitous has acquired the meaning "characterized by good fortune, lucky." (Note that the word fortunate underwent a similar shift in meaning centuries ago.) In our 2005 survey, a solid majority of the Usage Panel accepted the use of the word to mean "lucky." Some 68 percent accepted the sentence The photographer felt that it was very fortuitous that she was in place to take the winning photo, where the adverb very rules out the possibility that the word might mean "accidental." A similar percentage (67) accepted the sentence The meeting proved fortuitous: I came away with a much better idea of my role, where the verb prove makes the meaning "accidental" an unlikely fit. This two-thirds majority stands in stark contrast to the 85 percent that rejected this same sentence in 1967. Nonetheless, writers should take care to avoid creating contexts in which the meaning of the word is ambiguous.

fortuitous

(fɔːˈtjuːɪtəs)
adj
happening by chance, esp by a lucky chance; unplanned; accidental
[C17: from Latin fortuitus happening by chance, from forte by chance, from fors chance, luck]
forˈtuitously adv
forˈtuitousness n

for•tu•i•tous

(fɔrˈtu ɪ təs, -ˈtyu-)

adj.
1. happening or produced by chance; accidental: a fortuitous encounter.
2. lucky; fortunate.
[1645–55; < Latin fortuitus, akin to fors, genitive fortis chance, luck]
for•tu′i•tous•ly, adv.
for•tu′i•tous•ness, n.
usage: fortuitous has developed in sense from “happening by chance” to “happening by lucky chance” to simply “lucky.” Some object to this last meaning, insisting that fortuitous be kept to its original sense of “accidental.” In modern standard use, however, the word almost always carries the senses both of chance and good luck. fortuitous is infrequently used to mean “accidental” without the suggestion of good luck, and even less frequently to mean “lucky” without a suggestion of accident or chance.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.fortuitous - having no cause or apparent causefortuitous - having no cause or apparent cause; "a causeless miracle"; "fortuitous encounters--strange accidents of fortune"; "we cannot regard artistic invention as...uncaused and unrelated to the times"
unintended - not deliberate
2.fortuitous - occurring by happy chance; "profits were enhanced by a fortuitous drop in the cost of raw materials"
fortunate - having unexpected good fortune; "other, less fortunate, children died"; "a fortunate choice"

fortuitous

adjective
2. lucky, happy, fortunate, serendipitous, providential, fluky (informal) It was a fortuitous discovery.

fortuitous

adjective
Occurring unexpectedly:
Translations
onnekassattumanvarainentahaton
váratlanvéletlen

fortuitous

[fɔːˈtjuːɪtəs] ADJfortuito, casual

fortuitous

[fɔːrˈtjuːɪtəs] adjfortuit(e)

fortuitous

adj, fortuitously
advzufällig

fortuitous

[fɔːˈtjuːɪtəs] adjfortuito/a
References in classic literature ?
It was a pictorial sheet, and Jo examined the work of art nearest her, idly wondering what fortuitous concatenation of circumstances needed the melodramatic illustration of an Indian in full war costume, tumbling over a precipice with a wolf at his throat, while two infuriated young gentlemen, with unnaturally small feet and big eyes, were stabbing each other close by, and a disheveled female was flying away in the background with her mouth wide open.
The coming of her sister's family was so very near at hand, that first in anticipation, and then in reality, it became henceforth her prime object of interest; and during the ten days of their stay at Hartfield it was not to be expectedshe did not herself expect that any thing beyond occasional, fortuitous assistance could be afforded by her to the lovers.
It is not for one, situated, through his original errors and a fortuitous combination of unpropitious events, as is the foundered Bark (if he may be allowed to assume so maritime a denomination), who now takes up the pen to address you - it is not, I repeat, for one so circumstanced, to adopt the language of compliment, or of congratulation.
Her only hope lay in waiting until darkness had fallen, unless some fortuitous circumstance should arise before.
However, I deduced from the scene one conclusion which seemed to me reliable --namely, that in the flow of fortuitous chances there is, if not a system, at all events a sort of order.
It is odd how we of that pension, who seemed such a fortuitous collection, have been working into one another's lives.
Minchin in return was quite sure that man was not a mere machine or a fortuitous conjunction of atoms; if Mrs.
Just how I was to help Perry I could scarce imagine, but I hoped that some fortuitous circumstance might solve the problem for me.
She could see no way in which to escape and so she went docilely with him, hoping against hope that some fortuitous circumstance might eventually arise that would give her the coveted chance for freedom and life.
Without even a thought for his own safety, or the possibility for escape which this rapid series of fortuitous circumstances had thrust upon him, Tarzan of the Apes answered the call of the woman in danger.
In a way, their meeting the next morning was fortuitous enough, yet it had also its significance for both of them.
And at the same time, with true lover's anxiety, Sheldon feared that the other might somehow fail to blunder, and win the girl with purely fortuitous and successful meretricious show.