Meaning and origin

The English word „fortuitous“ comes from the Latin word „fortuitus,“ which means „fortunate.“ It describes events or circumstances that occur by chance, often with a positive connotation. In German, it could be translated as „coincidental“ or „fortunate.“

Usage in English

“Fortuitous” is used to describe events or circumstances that occur by chance and often fortunately. Here are some examples of how “fortuitous” is used in sentences:

  • “It was a fortuitous coincidence that they met at the airport.”
  • “The discovery of the old manuscript was completely fortuitous.”


To expand your vocabulary, it is useful to know synonyms of „fortuitous“. These synonyms can be used interchangeably depending on the context:

  • Accidental
  • Chance
  • Random
  • Serendipitous
  • Unplanned

Difference between “Fortuitous” and similar words

While “fortuitous” places a special emphasis on happy coincidences, similar words have different nuances:

  • Accidental means “by chance” and describes something that happens unintentionally or by chance.
  • Chance means “random” and emphasizes the element of chance or probability.
  • Random means “by chance” and describes something that happens without any particular intention or pattern.
  • Serendipitous means “happily accidental” and describes happy coincidences, often in connection with unexpected discoveries.
  • Unplanned means “unplanned” and describes something that happens without prior planning or intention.

Examples from literature

“Fortuitous” is often used in literary and formal texts to describe happy coincidences or unexpected events. Here is an example:

  • “The protagonist’s fortuitous meeting with an old friend set the stage for the adventure that followed.”

Everyday life and professional context

The word „fortuitous“ can be used in many areas of life to describe happy coincidences or unexpected events. In a professional context, it could be used to describe unexpected, positive developments or opportunities. Here are some examples:

  • Everyday life: “Their fortuitous encounter at the café led to a lifelong friendship.”
  • Profession: “The fortuitous timing of the market surge benefited the company’s new product launch.”


The word „fortuitous“ is a precise and expressive word in English used to describe happy coincidences or unexpected, positive events. It is particularly useful in literary, professional, and everyday contexts and can be replaced by a variety of synonyms to express different shades of randomness and luck.

Use “fortuitous” to expand your English language skills and refine your ability to express yourself. It is a word that shows how significant and positive coincidences can be in different areas of life.

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