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happening by accident or chance: A fortuitous meeting led eventually to marriage.
Not to be confused with:
fortunate – bringing something good and unforeseen; lucky; providential: A fortunate turn of events helped her find a new career.
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree
1. Happening by accident or chance. See Synonyms at accidental.
2. Resulting in good fortune; lucky.
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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
for•tu•i•tous(fɔrˈtu ɪ təs, -ˈtyu-)
1. happening or produced by chance; accidental: a fortuitous encounter.
2. lucky; fortunate.
[1645–55; < Latin fortuitus, akin to fors, genitive fortis chance, luck]
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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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|Adj.||1.||fortuitous - 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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
1. chance, lucky, random, casual, contingent, accidental, arbitrary, incidental, unforeseen, unplanned a fortuitous quirk of fate
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
fortuitous[fɔːrˈtjuːɪtəs] adj → fortuit(e)
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
adv → zufällig
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
fortuitous[fɔːˈtjuːɪtəs] adj → fortuito/a
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995