Definition of felicitous
- a felicitous remark
- handled the delicate matter in a most felicitous manner
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a felicitous combination of flavors
a felicitous accompaniment to dinner is provided by a harpist on weekends at the restaurant
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'felicitous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The adjective felicitous has been a part of our language since the late 18th century, but felicity, the noun meaning "great happiness," and later, "aptness," was around even in Middle English (as felicite, a borrowing from Anglo-French). Both words ultimately derive from the Latin adjective felix, meaning "fruitful" or "happy." The connection between happy and felicitous continues today in that both words can mean "notably fitting, effective, or well adapted." Happy typically suggests what is effectively or successfully appropriate (as in "a happy choice of words"), and felicitous often implies an aptness that is opportune, telling, or graceful (as in "a felicitous phrase").
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