Fortuitous means by chance, like a lucky accident. If you and your best friend's families happen to go on vacation to the same place at the same time, that’s a fortuitous coincidence!

Something fortuitous is random like an accident, but there’s no downside. A rock falling on your head is an accident, dollar bills falling on your head is fortuitous. The meaning of fortuitous is changing from "happening by chance" to "lucky chance" because people get it mixed up with fortunate. But watch out: If you say fortuitous to mean just plain lucky without the element of chance –– that's a usage error.

Definitions of fortuitous
  1. adjective
    occurring by happy chance
    “profits were enhanced by a fortuitous drop in the cost of raw materials”
    having unexpected good fortune
  2. adjective
    having no cause or apparent cause
    fortuitous encounters--strange accidents of fortune”
    synonyms: causeless, uncaused
    not deliberate
Commonly confused words

fortunate / fortuitous

Get our your lucky rabbit’s foot! Fortunate is lucky, but fortuitous means by chance or accident. Silly rabbit, these words aren’t the same.

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