Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal.


 (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:
Adv.1.fortuitously - by good fortune; "fortunately the weather was good"


[fɔːˈtjuːɪtəslɪ] ADVfortuitamente, por casualidad


[fɔːˈtjuːɪtəslɪ] advfortuitamente, per caso
References in classic literature ?
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.
Spurs were frustrated until Aurier's cross fortuitously looped over keeper Mat Ryan and into the net to give them a half-time lead.
To back up a first Major win at Oakmont with another high profile triumph at Firestone - albeit a tiny bit fortuitously - proves he is the real deal.
The car then struck a fortuitously located telegraph pole, which appears to have prevented it from smashing into the front of the eye-catching sandstone property.
Fortuitously for Canadian subs, the company's deal with Disney started with 2015 releases.
The City Gearboxes Storm may well ultimately finish in the top four but will have to wait until after the cut-off to complete their fixtures, with Rye House somewhat fortuitously in that position and having already agreed dates with semi-final opponents Eastbourne.
The 37-year-old, who is playing in his final Test series, somewhat fortuitously clubbed his first Test six but was denied a ton as he was caught behind off Wood with Australia on 180 for three.
Abdulllatif Al-Beaijan, the Commission's secretary general said this year's edition dovetailed fortuitously with the nation celebrating the UN selection of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as a Humanitarian Leader and Kuwait as a Humanitarian Center.
The study fortuitously occurred during an unusually large melt season.