fe·​lic·​i·​tous | \ fi-ˈli-sə-təs How to pronounce felicitous (audio) \

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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Other Words from felicitous

felicitously adverb
felicitousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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").

Examples of felicitous in a Sentence

a felicitous combination of flavors a felicitous accompaniment to dinner is provided by a harpist on weekends at the restaurant
Recent Examples on the Web The effect, according to the article, was felicitous. Emily Langer, Washington Post, "Joan Walsh Anglund, illustrator who distilled childhood to its essence, dies at 95," 20 Mar. 2021 His prose is prose, definitively prose, anti-felicitous and slightly barbarous. James Parker, The Atlantic, "The Relentless Philip Roth," 13 Mar. 2021 The felicitous playing, by members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, of the second movement from Ravel’s String Quartet in F major filled out the program, sparking only the faintest wish that this, too, had been used for a piece of choreography. Robert Greskovic, WSJ, "‘Dancers of the Met’ Review: In Person and Inside," 13 Mar. 2021 Northwest takes the form of a felicitous friendship between itinerant baker Cookie and Chinese immigrant King-Lu. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, "‘First Cow’ ‘gives the loneliest of us hope,’ say the film’s stars," 6 Jan. 2021 Searls has understandably chosen to keep Rilke’s side of the correspondence intact, sequestering Kappus’s less felicitous offerings in the second half of the book. Lidija Haas, Harper's Magazine, "New Books," 27 Oct. 2020 That’s the same rationale behind a less felicitous change, the elimination of low-cost drink refills. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "At Baltimore’s Senator Theatre, less people and more space define going to the movies during the coronavirus era," 10 Sep. 2020 And sometimes even the most felicitous convergences result in a cascade of unintended consequences. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, "Scorsese is right about Marvel. Except when he’s wrong.," 7 Nov. 2019 The result is an Industrial Park with a felicitous design, a series of buildings with an almost uniform low profile accompanied by attractive landscaping that harmonize with the low density features of the community at large. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: With St. Paul’s trash system, ‘Force Majeure’ might not be as forceful as you think," 13 Oct. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of felicitous

1789, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of felicitous was in 1789

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Last Updated

27 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Felicitous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/felicitous. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of felicitous

formal : very well suited for some purpose or situation

More from Merriam-Webster on felicitous

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Nglish: Translation of felicitous for Spanish Speakers

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