Definition of SERENDIPITY


Serendipity is a noun that refers to the occurrence of fortunate events or discoveries by chance, often when one is not actively seeking them. It encompasses the idea of stumbling upon something valuable, delightful, or significant unexpectedly. Serendipity is characterised by moments of surprise, wonder, and joy as individuals encounter unforeseen opportunities or connections that enrich their lives in meaningful ways.

In addition to being a noun, serendipity can also be used as an adjective to describe the unexpected or fortunate nature of a discovery or event. For example, one might refer to a serendipitous encounter or a serendipitous discovery to emphasise the element of chance and unexpectedness.

Meaning of SERENDIPITY in Different Contexts

General: In a general sense, serendipity refers to the unexpected discovery of something valuable or desirable by chance, such as stumbling upon a rare book in a secondhand store or meeting a lifelong friend in an unexpected place.

Science: In scientific contexts, serendipity often refers to the unintentional discovery of new phenomena, substances, or processes while conducting research. For example, the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming is often cited as a serendipitous discovery.

Creative: In creative endeavors, serendipity can refer to the unexpected inspiration or breakthroughs that occur during the creative process. Artists, writers, and musicians may experience moments of serendipity when they stumble upon new ideas or approaches while working on their craft.

Relationships: In the context of relationships, serendipity may refer to the unexpected encounters or connections that lead to romantic or meaningful relationships. Meeting a romantic partner in an unexpected place or reconnecting with a long-lost friend can be described as serendipitous.

Business: In business, serendipity may refer to the unexpected opportunities or successes that arise unexpectedly. For example, a chance meeting with a potential investor or stumbling upon a lucrative business idea while exploring new markets can be considered serendipitous.

Serendipity encompasses a range of meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Whether referring to unexpected discoveries, scientific breakthroughs, creative inspiration, meaningful relationships, or business opportunities, serendipity celebrates the joyous moments of chance encounters and fortunate accidents that enrich our lives in meaningful ways. Embracing serendipity allows us to remain open to the possibilities that arise from life’s unpredictability, fostering a sense of gratitude, wonder, and adventure along the way.

Examples of SERENDIPITY in a sentence

  • Finding that charming little café while wandering through the city was pure serendipity.
  • Their meeting at the airport was a moment of serendipity that changed both their lives.
  • The discovery of penicillin is often cited as a classic example of serendipity in science.
  • He attributed his career success to a combination of hard work and serendipity.
  • The author described their chance encounter as an act of serendipity.
  • Her serendipity in stumbling upon the rare book was remarkable.
  • Many scientific breakthroughs have been the result of serendipity rather than planned experiments.
  • They cherished the moments of serendipity that brought unexpected joy into their lives.

Etymology of SERENDIPITY

The term serendipity embarks on a journey through chance, discovery, and unexpected joy, reflecting the delightful and fortuitous nature of certain discoveries or experiences. Rooted in English and inspired by a Persian fairy tale, it has evolved into a noun that captures the sense of pleasant surprise and good fortune resulting from accidental discoveries or occurrences.

  • English Language and Persian Influence: Serendipity owes its existence to the English language and draws inspiration from the Persian fairy tale “The Three Princes of Serendip,” in which the protagonists make fortunate discoveries through chance or accident. The term was coined by Horace Walpole in the 18th century, inspired by the tale’s theme of unexpected discoveries.
  • Unexpected Discoveries: Serendipity refers to the occurrence of fortunate and unexpected discoveries or events that occur by chance rather than through deliberate effort or intention. It embodies the notion of stumbling upon something valuable, delightful, or insightful while pursuing a different goal or path.
  • Creative and Scientific Innovation: Serendipity plays a significant role in creative and scientific innovation, as many groundbreaking discoveries and inventions throughout history have been the result of chance occurrences or accidental observations. Scientists, artists, and inventors often capitalize on serendipitous moments to make new connections, explore uncharted territories, or uncover hidden insights.
  • Joy and Appreciation: Serendipity evokes feelings of joy, wonder, and appreciation for the unexpected blessings or opportunities that come our way. It reminds us to remain open-minded, curious, and receptive to the beauty and magic of life’s surprises, even in the midst of uncertainty or adversity.
  • Cultivating Serendipity: While serendipity is often associated with random chance, some argue that it can be cultivated or encouraged through certain attitudes, behaviors, and habits. Staying curious, exploring new experiences, maintaining an open mind, and embracing uncertainty are all ways to increase the likelihood of serendipitous encounters and discoveries.

Serendipity stands as a reminder of the wondrous and unpredictable nature of life, inviting us to embrace the unexpected and find joy in the unanticipated twists and turns along our journey. From its origins in English literature to its contemporary significance in everyday language and creativity, the term celebrates the magic of chance and the beauty of unexpected discoveries.


  • Chance discovery
  • Fortuity
  • Happenstance
  • Luck
  • Coincidence
  • Providence
  • Fate
  • Destiny


  • Misfortune
  • Bad luck
  • Unluckiness
  • Failure
  • Ill fortune
  • Calamity
  • Disaster
  • Tragedy


  • Serendipitous
  • Opportunity
  • Discovery
  • Unexpected
  • Fortune
  • Accident
  • Blessing
  • Providence

🌐 🇬🇧 SERENDIPITY in other languages

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