Word: fortuitous

Pronunciation: for-TOO-ə-təs

Part of Speech: adjective


  1. happening by accident or chance rather than design
  2. happening by a lucky chance; fortunate

Source: Oxford Dictionaries

It’s the beginning of March, and what better way to start off St. Patrick’s month than with a word related to good fortune? “Fortuitous” is a word I see and hear pop up every once in a while, so it would definitely make an interesting addition to this vocabulary segment. In my opinion, one can never know too many words for “good luck”!

A “fortuitous” event is one that happens by chance, generally a lucky one. The word comes from the Latin adjective fortuitus “happening by chance”, which stems from the adverb forte, meaning “by chance”. This word is derived from the noun fors, which means “chance” or “luck”.

Although “fortuitous” is listed as having two similar meanings, modern uses tend to favor the latter, which is more or less synonymous to “lucky” or “fortunate”. Note, however, that Oxford Dictionaries emphasize this definition as being a strictly informal use of the word, and one that should thus be avoided except in contexts of this sort. Of course, it all comes down to a writer’s discretion when deciding how best to work it into a story, so feel free to use “fortuitous” however you see fit, and may the best fortune find you in your writing endeavors anyway. Good luck (pun absolutely intended)!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

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