Glossary Home Definition


Serendipity is the experience of finding something joyful in that which came unexpectedly.

It is a pleasure that is not sought and therefore when it arrives it is all the more poignant. Its unexpected nature is what makes “serendipitous” moments memorable and moving.


Serendipity vs. Fate

The word serendipity is often associated with others, such as “luck” and “fate”. The latter should be defined as something that happens to a person and is out of their control. This something might be in the future or in the past. It might be said that “this disaster was fated” or “it was fate that led me here”. Someone’s fate is generally considered to be something predetermined and that can’t be changed.


Serendipity vs. Luck

Luck is similar to serendipity in a different way. It is wide-reaching and can be defined as a force that brings good fortune or adversity, meaning there is good luck and there is bad. In regards to serendipity, there is only good.


Coinage of Serendipity

Serendipity is a noun. It first came into use when Horace Walpole, an English writer, and politician, coined the word in the 18th century. The fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip inspired the word. Halpole chose to use the story, which is of Persian origin, as inspiration because the characters, made frequent discoveries that they did not intend to.


Serendipity as a Part of Speech

The various forms are serendipitous (adjective), serendipitously (adverb), and serendipitist (referring to one who finds themselves in serendipitous situations).

The word only became widely popular in the early 20th century, before then it was mostly unknown. Source:


Serendipity Used in Sentences

  • It is a pleasure to experience the serendipity of nature.
  • He presented us with a truly serendipitous experience.
  • Was it serendipity that you found me or was it fate?
  • We had such a wonderful time today, when you showed up it was serendipitous!

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