for·​tu·​nate ˈfȯrch-nət How to pronounce fortunate (audio)
: bringing some good thing not foreseen as certain : auspicious
made a fortunate investment
: receiving some unexpected good
How fortunate we are to get such a nice room!
fortunateness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for fortunate

lucky, fortunate, happy, providential mean meeting with unforeseen success.

lucky stresses the role of chance in bringing about a favorable result.

won because of a lucky bounce

fortunate suggests being rewarded beyond what one deserves.

fortunate in my investments

happy combines the implications of lucky and fortunate with stress on being blessed.

a series of happy accidents

providential more definitely implies the help or intervention of a higher power.

a providential change in the weather

Examples of fortunate in a Sentence

How fortunate we were to find that restaurant! We should try to help others who are less fortunate than ourselves.
Recent Examples on the Web But there are plenty of people who wouldn’t be as fortunate—or wouldn’t be close enough to drive home and still make it to their in-person jobs the next morning. Alicia Adamczyk, Fortune, 24 Sep. 2023 To me, that means Jonathan was very fortunate to hook up with us as well. Rob Tannenbaum, Los Angeles Times, 20 Sep. 2023 Last year, the theme was ‘Folklore’— those of us who weren’t fortunate enough to be invited last year were glued to our screens to see what our favourite creatives would be wearing. Habiba Katsha,, 19 Sep. 2023 Meanwhile, thousands of Michiganders languish on waiting lists hoping to be among the fortunate chosen to receive the subsidy when vouchers become available. Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press, 10 Sep. 2023 With its outstanding architecture and vibrant town/gown engagement, the students who go there are fortunate indeed. James McCown,, 14 Sep. 2023 Republicans were fortunate enough to have a wave election during the 2010 midterms, shortly before that year’s census results gave lawmakers across the country a chance to draw new congressional and state legislative maps. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 14 Sep. 2023 Those fortunate enough not to have experienced such hardships sometimes lack empathy and, when young, may be prone to ridicule. Courtland Milloy, Washington Post, 12 Sep. 2023 Once the trio had meticulously curated a list of indispensable engineers, effectively signaling the expulsion of thousands not fortunate enough to make the cut, Musk was determined to do the layoffs quickly. Kylie Robison, Fortune, 12 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fortunate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of fortunate was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near fortunate

Cite this Entry

“Fortunate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


for·​tu·​nate ˈfȯrch-(ə-)nət How to pronounce fortunate (audio)
: coming or happening by good luck : bringing good that was not expected
: receiving some unexpected or unearned good : lucky
fortunateness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on fortunate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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