serendipity was our Word of the Day on 02/13/2014. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of serendipity in a Sentence
- As they leapfrog from South Africa to Singapore in search of local delicacies, the authors prove again and again that serendipity is the traveler's strongest ally: many of their most memorable meals issue from the hands of generous strangers … —Sarah Karnasiewicz, Saveur, June/July 2008
- If reporters fail to keep these files, they seldom luck into bigger stories. Their investigative work typically happens only by design—analyzing the news, for instance—not by serendipity. —Michael J. Bugeja, Editor & Publisher, 13 Jan. 2003
- A week earlier, the doctor would have had no recourse but to make an incision in the baby's skin to get to a vein—a precarious option now, since time was running short and it would take nearly half an hour to assemble the necessary equipment. But in an extraordinary bit of serendipity, Hanson had attended a seminar on emergency medical care for children just a week before. —David Ruben, Parenting, December/January 1996
They found each other by pure serendipity.
Recent Examples of serendipity from the Web
For most of his life, he has been blessed with good fortune, tinged with a bit of serendipity.
Clark was an accident, his pro football career pure serendipity.
But the two-year trend argues there's more than serendipity at work.
That put him, by serendipity, in position to monitor decades of Arctic climate warming.
His latest successful record bid, however, left nothing to serendipity or to chance.
Kearns, the Rady chief executive, said that serendipity played a big role in this case.
Ironically, Woodrum and the Ravens will welcome Cleveland to M&T Bank Stadium Sunday at 1 p.m. Woodrum smiled when asked about the serendipity of facing his previous employer with his current one.
Virality can't be planned for, at least not easily; serendipity is usually a key ingredient.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'serendipity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Where Does 'Serendipity' Come From?
In the mid-1700s, English author Horace Walpole stumbled upon an interesting tidbit of information while researching a coat of arms. In a letter to his friend Horace Mann he wrote: "This discovery indeed is almost of that kind which I call Serendipity, a very expressive word, which as I have nothing better to tell you, I shall endeavor to explain to you: you will understand it better by the derivation than by the definition. I once read a silly fairy tale, called 'The Three Princes of Serendip': as their highnesses travelled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of…." Walpole's memory of the tale (which, as it turns out, was not quite accurate) gave serendipity the meaning it retains to this day.
Origin and Etymology of serendipity
First Known Use: 1754See Words from the same year
SERENDIPITY Defined for English Language Learners
Learn More about serendipity
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up serendipity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).