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[fawr-chuh-nit] /ˈfɔr tʃə nɪt/
having good fortune; receiving good from uncertain or unexpected sources; lucky:
a fortunate young actor who got the lead in the play.
bringing or indicating good fortune; resulting favorably; auspicious:
She made a fortunate decision to go on to medical school.
Origin of fortunate
1350-1400; Middle English fortunat < Latin fortūnātus made prosperous or happy (past participle of fortūnāre). See fortune, -ate1
Related forms
fortunately, adverb
fortunateness, noun
quasi-fortunate, adjective
quasi-fortunately, adverb
superfortunate, adjective
superfortunately, adverb
Can be confused
felicitous, fortuitous, fortunate (see usage note at fortuitous)
1. advantageous, successful, prosperous. Fortunate, happy, lucky refer to persons who enjoy, or events that produce, good fortune. Fortunate implies that the success is obtained by the operation of favorable circumstances more than by direct effort; it is usually applied to grave or large matters (especially those happening in the ordinary course of things): fortunate in one's choice of a wife; a fortunate investment. Happy emphasizes a pleasant ending or something that happens at just the right moment: By a happy accident I received the package on time. Lucky, a more colloquial word, is applied to situations that turn out well by chance: lucky at cards; my lucky day. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fortunately
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • fortunately there are things to do, no matter what cannot be done.

    Clair de Lune Michael Strange
  • fortunately, there was just then a flood of evening sunshine in the air.

  • This defect can fortunately be corrected by the method shown in Fig. 112.

    How it Works Archibald Williams
  • fortunately, Mr. Brunton called, and he assisted to while away the time.

    Life in London Edwin Hodder
  • fortunately I was aware of your destination and knew that we should meet.

    The Secret Witness George Gibbs
British Dictionary definitions for fortunately


(sentence modifier) it is fortunate that; luckily
in a fortunate manner


having good luck; lucky
occurring by or bringing good fortune or luck; auspicious
Derived Forms
fortunateness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fortunately

1540s, from fortunate + -ly (2).



late 14c., from Latin fortunatus "prospered, prosperous; lucky, happy," past participle of fortunare "to make prosperous," from fortuna (see fortune). Fortunate Islands "mythical abode of the blessed dead, in the Western Ocean," early 15c., translates Latin Fortunatae Insulae.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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