adjective fe·lic·i·tous \ fi-ˈli-sə-təs \
|Updated on: 16 Aug 2018

Definition of felicitous

1 : very well suited or expressed : apt
  • a felicitous remark
  • handled the delicate matter in a most felicitous manner
2 : pleasant, delightful
  • felicitous weather
  • The ride through the countryside is a felicitous journey for city people.





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Examples of felicitous in a Sentence

  1. a felicitous combination of flavors

  2. a felicitous accompaniment to dinner is provided by a harpist on weekends at the restaurant

Recent Examples of felicitous from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

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").

First Known Use of felicitous


in the meaning defined at sense 1

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felicitous Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of felicitous

fit, suitable, meet, proper, appropriate, fitting, apt, happy, felicitous mean right with respect to some end, need, use, or circumstance. fit stresses adaptability and sometimes special readiness for use or action.
    • fit for battle
suitable implies an answering to requirements or demands.
    • clothes suitable for camping
meet suggests a just proportioning.
    • meet payment
proper suggests a suitability through essential nature or accordance with custom.
    • proper acknowledgement
appropriate implies eminent or distinctive fitness.
    • an appropriate gift
fitting implies harmony of mood or tone.
    • a fitting end
apt connotes a fitness marked by nicety and discrimination.
    • apt quotations
happy suggests what is effectively or successfully appropriate.
    • a happy choice of words
felicitous suggests an aptness that is opportune, telling, or graceful.
    • a felicitous phrase

FELICITOUS Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of felicitous for English Language Learners

  • : very well suited for some purpose or situation

Seen and Heard

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excessive admiration or flattery

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