Fortuitous and Fortunate

By Sharon

It’s easy to mix up fortuitous with fortunate. After all, they both have aspects of luck and chance in their meaning.

Fortunate means lucky, derived from the word fortune, which means luck, either good or bad. The Romans thought of fortune as a goddess who could be for you or against you.

Fortuitous, on the other hand, derives from the Latin ‘fortuitus’ meaning, by chance, accidental. So a fortuitous meeting is an accidental meeting, rather than a lucky one.

Of course, now the waters have been further muddied. That’s because the common usage of fortuitous implies both chance and luck – in other words, a fortuitous meeting might be one that was accidental, but which worked out well for those who met.

1 Response to “Fortuitous and Fortunate”

  • Simon Townley

    I stumbled across this by chance. Lucky I did.

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