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What It Means
Fortuitous means “happening by chance.” It can also mean “having or showing good luck.”
// It was rather fortuitous that the two sisters both decided to surprise their parents with a visit on the same weekend.
// Thank goodness you’re here; you could not have arrived at a more fortuitous time.
FORTUITOUS in Context
“Shigesato Itoi’s journey to becoming a video game creator was a labyrinthine and fortuitous one, a strange tale that took him from novelist to voice actor in My Neighbor Totoro, and beyond.” — Aidan Moher, Lifehacker.com, 29 Sept. 2022
Did You Know?
For its first 250 years, until the early part of the 20th century, fortuitous meant one thing only: “happening by chance.” This was no accident; its Latin forebear, fortuitus, shares the same ancient root as fors, the Latin word for “chance.” But the fact that fortuitous sounds like a blend of fortunate and felicitous (“happily suited to an occasion”) likely led to a second meaning of “fortunate, lucky,” with the seeds of the newer sense perhaps planted by writers applying overtones of good fortune to something that is a random occurrence. The “lucky” use has been disparaged by critics, but it is now well established. Irregardless (cough), employing this sense in sterner company may be considered chancy.