Also found in: Thesaurus.


 (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.
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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.fortuitously - by good fortune; "fortunately the weather was good"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[fɔːˈtjuːɪtəslɪ] ADVfortuitamente, por casualidad
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


[fɔːˈtjuːɪtəslɪ] advfortuitamente, per caso
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
Everything came about fortuitously. The armies were divided at the commencement of the campaign.
Wopsle's great-aunt, who staggered at a boy fortuitously, and pulled his ears.
After wandering for several days without meeting with Indians, or obtaining any supplies, they came together fortuitously among the Snake River mountains, some distance below that disastrous pass or strait which had received the appellation of the Devil's Scuttle Hole.
And then one morning, quite fortuitously, the opportunity came.
The kind and genial character of the captain had, evidently, its influence on the opposite races thus fortuitously congregated together.
An administrative entity operated by an incalculable multitude of political parasites, logically active but fortuitously efficient.
"The Court finds that the evidence establishes that the truck was used incidentally or fortuitously in the distribution of the illegal drug.
In a first half of few chances the Eagles broke the deadlock when Michy Batshuayi fortuitously deflected James McArthur's effort past Kasper Schmeichel.
After labouring through the second half, eventually Joselu - rather fortuitously - latched on to a rebound from a vicious Fabian Schar shot to prod United back into the lead.
His chance may have come somewhat fortuitously owing to injuries to Charlie Wyke and Jerome Sinclair, but the teenager has more than justified his selection.
Cook actually reached his hundred fortuitously, hitting a single into the onside - and then watching as Bumrah's wayward throw ran away for four overthrows.