having good fortune; receiving good from uncertain or unexpected sources; lucky: a fortunate young actor who got the lead in the play.
bringing or indicating good fortune: resulting favorably; auspicious: She made a fortunate decision to go on to medical school.
well-to-do; comfortable; prosperous: a summer camp for less fortunate fourth graders.

Origin of fortunate

1350–1400; Middle English fortunat < Latin fortūnātus made prosperous or happy (past participle of fortūnāre). See fortune, -ate1
Related formsfor·tu·nate·ly, adverbfor·tu·nate·ness, nounqua·si-for·tu·nate, adjectivequa·si-for·tu·nate·ly, adverbsu·per·for·tu·nate, adjectivesu·per·for·tu·nate·ly, adverb
Can be confusedfelicitous fortuitous fortunate (see usage note at fortuitous)

Synonym study

1, 2. Fortunate, happy, lucky refer to persons who enjoy, or events that produce, good fortune. Fortunate implies that the success is obtained by the operation of favorable circumstances more than by direct effort; it is usually applied to grave or large matters (especially those happening in the ordinary course of things): fortunate in one's choice of a wife; a fortunate investment. Happy emphasizes a pleasant ending or something that happens at just the right moment: By a happy accident I received the package on time. Lucky, a more colloquial word, is applied to situations that turn out well by chance: lucky at cards; my lucky day. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fortunate

Contemporary Examples of fortunate

Historical Examples of fortunate

  • But am I so fortunate as to find you willing to return with me?


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Going to his office, he was fortunate enough to find him in, and unengaged.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • You are, indeed, fortunate in having escaped from the snare he laid for you.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Unless we are fortunate enough to find some, retreat is inevitable.

  • We have been most fortunate in finding water, and I am indeed very thankful for it.

British Dictionary definitions for fortunate



having good luck; lucky
occurring by or bringing good fortune or luck; auspicious
Derived Formsfortunateness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for fortunate

late 14c., from Latin fortunatus "prospered, prosperous; lucky, happy," past participle of fortunare "to make prosperous," from fortuna (see fortune). Fortunate Islands "mythical abode of the blessed dead, in the Western Ocean," early 15c., translates Latin Fortunatae Insulae.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper