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Word of the Day
Thursday, October 18, 2001

Definitions for serendipity

  1. The faculty or phenomenon of making fortunate accidental discoveries.

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Citations for serendipity
Still, I was more subject to serendipity than I yet knew. Soon risk, chance, and a letter from Sir Alun Reese-Jones, the Master of Trinity, my college at Cambridge, were to set my life on an adventurous course. David Freeman, One of Us
Yet even as I planned a rough route, leaving plenty of room for serendipity, I was uncomfortably aware that journeys have a way of creating their own momentum. Lesley Hazleton, Driving To Detroit
Origin of serendipity
The word serendipity was formed by English author Horace Walpole (1717-1797) from Serendip (also Serendib), an old name for Sri Lanka, in reference to a Persian tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, whose heroes "discovered, quite unexpectedly, great and wonderful good in the most unlikely of situations, places and people."