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 (fôr-to͞o′ĭ-təs, -tyo͞o′-)
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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.fortuitousness - the quality of happening accidentally and by lucky chance
uncertainness, uncertainty, precariousness - being unsettled or in doubt or dependent on chance; "the uncertainty of the outcome"; "the precariousness of his income"


The quality shared by random, unintended, or unpredictable events or this quality regarded as the cause of such events:


, fortuity
nZufall m
References in classic literature ?
Such perfection of form, such hollowness that it certainly possessed, could not be the result of mere fortuitousness.
Recognizing the fortuitousness of the encounter, the CFO pulled Cohan aside to solicit his advice on improving GE stock.
With amazing fortuitousness, he was able to assemble a four-piece group of young relative unknowns, who also just happened to be virtuosos.
After introducing the gist of this idea and the fortuitousness of existence, he spends a chapter on how to think philosophically without having to become or even think like an academic.
GM: You get that--it's just the fortuitousness of the English language that provides that, but if you're a writer like me you fasten onto connections like that.
The constancy more evident in Puning Temple is not by sheer fortuitousness but attributable to the fact that the management system of the Lama Office, together with Yonghegong Lamasery and some other imperial temples, have put in historical records that it has become the institutional basis of religious revival in ethnic areas in the 1980s.
Strategy was specifically conceptualised to negate the fortuitousness of the dice and to concentrate on skill and "to develop or encourage the use of strategic ability in the movement and disposition of units representative of armed forces in time of war.