A Word A Day : Fortuitous
Sunday, 27th January 2008 : Today's Word is ...
( Adjective )
Pronunciation : fawr-to-itess
1. happening by chance, especially giving rise to a fortunate outcome
2. bringing or indicating good fortune
3. happening by a fortunate accident or chance
4. accidental or unplanned
Mid-17th century - Latin fortuitus - fors - chance, luck
accidental or unplanned as in:
• This is nothing but a fortuitous
encounter with my old roommate of 30 years ago, whom I hadn't seen since graduation.
Nowadays, it is frequently used in contexts where the chance event described has a fortunate
outcome. An extended meaning lucky
used in English at least since the 1920s is controversial. Substitute fortunate
when the meaning is lucky:
• In a fortunate
] turn of events, the lost package was found and handed in by a passer-by.
accidental, arbitrary, casual, chance, contingent, fluke, fluky, fortunate, haphazard, happy, incidental, luck in, luck out, lucky dog, odd, providential, random, serendipitous, unforeseen, unplanned
stresses chance. Fortuitous
so strongly suggests chance that it often connotes absence of cause.
refers to the present or future while fortuitous
is more about past events.
predictable, unlucky, designed, intended, intentional, planned, premeditated, determined, directed, focused, goal-oriented, guided, motivated, pointed, purposeful, resolute
• After their hard work, they knew that it was not merely fortuitous
that they got a good grade on the project.
• The bold attempt had miscarried by a fortuitous
circumstance. And unless by some exceptional event, they could now never reach the moon's disc.
• The program's outcome was not the result of any plan but was entirely fortuitous
• The object was so perfectly formed that its creation could not have been fortuitous
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