Fortuitous Definition ›› Fortuitous vs. Fortunate

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Fortuitous

Means that something happens by accident or by chance, rather than being planned. When something is fortuitous it is seemed as a positive thing. It’s lucky, and someone is fortunate that this has happened to them.

  • My brother driving by and seeing my when I got a flat tire was fortuitous. I didn’t know what I was going to do until he showed up out of nowhere.
  • That check coming in the mail today was fortuitous, I had just about run out of money.

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Fortuitous vs. Fortunate

Fortuitous is sometimes confused with the word fortunate. While something that is fortuitous is certainly a good thing, and someone is fortunate for it to happen, the two words have different meanings.

Fortunate

Means that something good happened, and it involves good luck. It refers to something that is auspicious, which is good luck in a superstitious way.

Fortunate can also refer to someone being well off financially or having a lot of something good. It’s often used to refer to money, but it can also refer to love or any other good thing.

  • I feel fortunate to have known you.
  • You’re luck to come from such a fortunate family.
  • You’re fortunate that you found your dog after he got loose.

The two meanings are very similar (they’re synonyms) and fortuitous is often thought of as being lucky. However the two words are different. Fortunate means lucky, while fortuitous means that something good happens by chance.

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Fortuitous Synonym

There are many synonyms for fortuitous, here are some of the most common.

Chance

Has multiple meanings, as a synonym to fortuitous it refers to events happening without the outcome being designed or planned for. When something happens by chance it may be positive or negative.

  • How did this happen? Did we mess up, or did this really just happen by chance?
  • It’s awesome that something this great could happen by chance.

Adventitious

Refers to something happening by chance or being due to an inherited gift or skill.

  • His computer skills were not adventitious, his father is into computers and he was trying to impress him.
  • This meeting was adventitious, I had no idea you’d be here.

Unanticipated

Means that something is not thought of as being predictable or expected. It also means that one cannot guess or know what will happen next, therefore one is unable to prepare for what is to come. It can refer to something positive or negative.

  • The horrible things that happened today were completely unanticipated, no one could have seen this coming.
  • His proposal was unanticipated, and perfect.

Unpredictable

Means that something is not able to be estimated or say what will happen in the future.

  • Her actions are unpredictable.
  • We can’t invest in this company because it’s expenses are so unpredictable.

Serendipitous

Means that something that something happens by chance and occurs in a beneficial way.

  • It was serendipitous that my car broke down and my future husband is the one that stopped to help me.
  • It’s serendipitous that I accidentally walked into the computer science class. I never would have found my passion if that hadn’t happened.

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Fortuitous Antonym

Predict/Predictable

Means to say or share something that will happen in the future.

  • What I love so much about math is that everything has a right or wrong answer and that answer is predictable.
  • Who could have predicted that Pluto would get demoted from planet status.

Forecast

Refers to the ability to be able to predict that something will happen in the future. This word can be positive or negative. It can be used about anything, however it is often used when speaking about predicting company earnings or the weather.

  • On Friday we will get the earnings forecast for Netflix.
  • In the meeting tomorrow, we’re going to talk about the company’s third quarter forecast.

Foresee

Speaks to being aware of something before it happens or being able to predict a future event.

  • I did not forsee how the movie was going to end, it was a great surprise.
  • Since I can’t foresee the future, I can’t tell you how this conversation is going to go, but we can hope for the best.

Anticipate

Means that one can guess or be aware of what will happen in the future.  

  • I’m trying to anticipate what our competition will do next.
  • When fighting make sure you mix up your patterns, so your opponent can’t anticipate your next move.

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