Serendipity – Definition, Meaning & Use In A Sentence

26.08.23 Definitions Time to read: 3min

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Serendipity-01

The etymology of some words remains elusive, with many people appreciating them mainly for their aesthetic appeal rather than their historical or lexical meaning. Consequently, there is a rising curiosity about the definitions, spellings, and origins of various complex English words and phrases. This article aims to provide a thorough and comprehensive insight into the word “serendipity”.

Definition of “serendipity”

Serendipity refers to the occurrence of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. It often denotes unexpected good fortune or lucky discoveries that happen accidentally. It has its origin in a Persian fairy tale where the protagonists consistently made discoveries of things they weren’t in pursuit of, through their ability to connect seemingly unrelated events. In everyday language, serendipity might describe finding a twenty-dollar bill on the sidewalk just when you needed some extra cash or discovering a new favorite café because the usual one was closed. It’s all about pleasant surprises and happy accidents that enrich our lives, typically bringing joy or solving problems in unexpected ways.

Use of “serendipity” in a sentence

When used in the English language, “serendipity” is used as a noun. The following examples will help you to understand the usage.

Examples 

  • The invention of penicillin was a result of serendipity.
  • Their chance to meet them at the shop turned out to be pure serendipity.
  • Serendipity led her to the right book at the library.

How to spell “serendipity” correctly

“Serendipity” is often misspelled as “serandipity”, “sarendipity”, or “serendipidy”. It’s a relatively uncommon and somewhat lengthy word, which could contribute to its frequent misspelling as well as the way it is pronounced. Some people may base the spelling on the phonetics. The only correct way of spelling the word is “serendipity”.

Correct spelling

serendipity

 

 

Wrong spelling

serandipity

sarendipity

serendipidy

Synonyms for “serendipity”

Employing synonyms for “serendipity” offers benefits by diversifying word options that convey analogous meanings, elevating the caliber of your academic work. Incorporating such alternatives can refine your writing, reducing repetition and bolstering your lexicon. Here are four alternative terms for “serendipity,” accompanied by example sentences for each:

Synonyms Examples
Fluke It was a serendipity that we both booked the same flight.
It was a fluke that we both booked the same flight.
Chance Serendipity played a part when I stumbled upon that bookstore.
Chance played a part when I stumbled upon that bookstore.
Fortuity The serendipity of the moment was palpable when the train started.
The fortuity of the moment was palpable when the train started.

FAQs

Serendipity refers to the phenomenon of making a fortunate discovery accidentally.

All three words involve an unexpected, fortunate outcome, but

  • Serendipity often carries a more magical or fate-driven nuance.
  • Luck is used to describe a positive outcome without a specific cause.
  • Chance just emphasizes randomness.

The term “serendipity” was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754, inspired by the Persian fairy tale “The Three Princes of Serendip.” In the story, the princes often make unexpected yet fortunate discoveries.

The term “serendipity” is not typically used to describe a feeling, but rather a circumstance or event characterized by a fortunate or happy accident, or an unexpected and pleasant discovery. However, experiencing serendipity can certainly evoke feelings of joy, surprise, fortune, or delight.

Here’s a real-life example of serendipity:

Imagine someone who enjoys reading historical fiction deciding to visit a used bookstore during their lunch break, a place they haven’t been to before. While browsing through the aisles, they stumble upon a long out-of-print book by their favorite author, which they had been wanting to read but couldn’t find anywhere. Even better, inside the book, they find a handwritten note from the author, making this find a rare and special edition.

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