Definition of serendipity in English:



  • [mass noun] The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way:

    ‘a fortunate stroke of serendipity’
    [count noun] ‘a series of small serendipities’
    • ‘A few weeks ago, in one of those moments of serendipity, I came across a book waiting to be placed in our law library's rare book collection.’
    • ‘I don't worry about surveillance as much as I worry that chance encounters and serendipity may disappear.’
    • ‘Nick is talking about a different sort of thing - a high incidence of serendipity and coincidence in one's life.’
    • ‘With yet another stroke of serendipity, they are BOTH newly single!’
    • ‘Like most worthwhile adventures, the origins of this particular grand excursion are rooted in pure serendipity.’
    • ‘While there is appeal in the spontaneity and serendipity of these events, they do not amount to community.’
    • ‘Success often depends on serendipity and clues turned up by other investigations.’
    • ‘Evolution seems to proceed not by design but by chance and serendipity.’
    • ‘Discovery, for an artist, is rarely the much-advertised miracle of serendipity.’
    • ‘There is huge serendipity in life and we cannot plan for it of course.’
    • ‘Through standard musical comedy serendipity, George is given an audition opposite Clare!’
    • ‘A mixture of serendipity, personal experience and recommendation built the list of artists.’
    • ‘It was only through sheer serendipity that he found what he was looking for bobbing about on the Clyde just a few miles from his home in Woodlands.’
    • ‘You might say this is serendipity, but you really have to make these things happen.’
    • ‘What is lost, some say, is the experience of serendipity and the delight in finding things that you would not naturally seek out.’
    • ‘In his own words, he scraped a living in Bangkok but then serendipity came again in the form of a meeting with two influential people in Bangkok.’
    • ‘One of the nicest things about traveling is the part that serendipity plays in our adventures.’
    • ‘The arts develop because of aptitude, talent, genius, hard work and serendipity.’
    • ‘It's only luck or rather serendipity, which makes them successful.’
    • ‘Such serendipity is typical of a constantly surprising show whose overlapping paths continually come full circle.’
    chance, happy chance, accident, happy accident, fluke
    luck, good luck, good fortune, fortuity, fortuitousness, providence
    coincidence, happy coincidence
    View synonyms


1754: coined by Horace Walpole, suggested by The Three Princes of Serendip, the title of a fairy tale in which the heroes ‘were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of’.