- happening or produced by chance; accidental: a fortuitous encounter.
- lucky; fortunate: a series of fortuitous events that advanced her career.
Origin of fortuitous
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Many object to the use of fortuitous to mean simply “fortunate” and insist that it should be limited to its original sense of “accidental.” In modern standard use, however, fortuitous almost always carries the senses both of accident or chance and luck or fortune. It is infrequently used in its sense of “accidental” without the suggestion of good luck, and even less frequently in the sense “lucky” without at least a suggestion of accident or chance: A fortuitous encounter with a former schoolmate led to a new and successful career for the artist.
Examples from the Web for fortuitous
“It was a fortuitous discovery,” Bruenn told The Daily Beast last week.Ebola's Roots Are 50 Times Older Than Mankind. And That Could Be the Key to Stopping It.
October 20, 2014
But all kinds of fortuitous circumstances—important people “seeing that”—led him to getting cast in Inside Llewyn Davis.‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ Star Oscar Isaac Is About to Be a Very Big Deal
December 5, 2013
All of which is why the juxtaposition of these two cases is fortuitous.Mumbai Massacre Perpetrator's Sentence Affirmed
September 3, 2012
And 1968 was a fortuitous year to become European Champions: it was the year that defined an age.A Manchester United Fan Defends His Faith
May 26, 2011
It was a fortuitous decision, because the plaza's roof happened to be crammed with several hundred refugees.The Extinction Parade: An Original Zombie Story by Max Brooks
January 14, 2011
Nor would the treasure ever have been found but for a most fortuitous accident.Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates
Invention was no longer the fortuitous result of a happy chance.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice
This was not the proportion that there should have been if the mortality had been fortuitous.The Outline of Science, Vol. 1 (of 4)
J. Arthur Thomson
Yet we find a few fortuitous circumstances that favored his evolution.Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 14
There are difficulties as to minute modifications, even if not fortuitous.On the Genesis of Species
St. George Mivart
- happening by chance, esp by a lucky chance; unplanned; accidental
Word Origin and History for fortuitous
1650s, from Latin fortuitus "happening by chance, casual, accidental," from forte "by chance," ablative of fors "chance" (related to fortuna; see fortune). It means "accidental, undesigned" not "fortunate." Earlier in this sense was fortuit (late 14c.), from French. Related: Fortuitously; fortuitousness.