fortuitous

[fawr-too-i-tuhs, -tyoo-]
adjective
1.
happening or produced by chance; accidental: a fortuitous encounter.
2.
lucky; fortunate: a series of fortuitous events that advanced her career.

Origin:
1645–55; < Latin fortuitus, fortuītus, equivalent to fortu- (u-stem base, otherwise unattested, akin to fors, genitive fortis chance, luck) + -itus, -ītus adj. suffix (for formation cf. gratuitous); see -ous

fortuitously, adverb
fortuitousness, noun
nonfortuitous, adjective
nonfortuitously, adverb
nonfortuitousness, noun
unfortuitous, adjective
unfortuitously, adverb
unfortuitousness, noun

felicitous, fortuitous, fortunate (see usage note at the current entry).


1. incidental. See accidental.


Fortuitous has developed in sense from “happening by chance” to “happening by lucky chance” to simply “lucky, fortunate.” This development was probably influenced by the similarity of fortuitous to fortunate and perhaps to felicitous: A fortuitous late-night snowfall made for a day of great skiing.
Many object to the use of fortuitous to mean simply “fortunate” and insist that it should be limited to its original sense of “accidental.” In modern standard use, however, fortuitous almost always carries the senses both of accident or chance and luck or fortune. It is infrequently used in its sense of “accidental” without the suggestion of good luck, and even less frequently in the sense “lucky” without at least a suggestion of accident or chance: A fortuitous encounter with a former schoolmate led to a new and successful career for the artist.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fortuitous (fɔːˈtjuːɪtəs)
 
adj
happening by chance, esp by a lucky chance; unplanned; accidental
 
[C17: from Latin fortuitus happening by chance, from forte by chance, from fors chance, luck]
 
for'tuitously
 
adv
 
for'tuitousness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

fortuitous
1650s, from L. fortuitus, from forte "by chance," abl. of fors "chance." It means "accidental, undesigned" not "fortunate." Related: Fortuitously.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It was an extremely fortuitous find, because the odds of mummification are
  slim, researchers noted.
Announced before the crisis struck, this spending was fortuitous.
Still, the timing of the final report's release seems fortuitous.
It's certainly true that he encouraged improvisation on set, and had a genius
  for seizing on fortuitous accidents.
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