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  • Noun




Running into my friend, whom I hadn’t seen in years, was a moment of serendipity or pure luck. He himself had had an amazing run of serendipity or fortunate discovery in turn. For instance, on a backpacking trip through Mexico, he accidentally stumbled upon a major archeological find—talk about serendipity!

Quiz: What is serendipity?

  • A coincidence that leads to something great.
  • A belief that success comes from hard work.
  • A life full of blessings and abundance.

Memory Hook

Serious End of Pity Wouldn't it be great if, by serendipity, someone discovered a serious way to end pity by fixing all the woes in the world?


  • I have never chosen my next job. I focus on what's in front of me, and serendipity steps in. —Susan Brooks, American politician and former U.S. Representative for Indiana
  • In 2008, CBC science expert Bob McDonald wrote: "Finding the first black hole was a wonderful case of serendipity [in] science. Dr. Bolton wasn’t looking for a black hole; he was studying binary systems, where two stars orbit around each other like ice dancers. But he noticed that a particular pair in the constellation Cygnus was not behaving normally." —Winnipeg Free Press
  • Serendipity. It’s the word renowned photographer Medford Taylor uses to describe his approach to the camera. “I don’t set things up, I seldom plan things,” says the 78-year-old photojournalist . . . . —The News and Advance
  • Since icefish blood can only transport 10 percent as much oxygen as typical fish blood, icefishes were forced to dramatically alter their bodies in order to survive. In this scenario, despite an evolutionary blunder that would be lethal to most fish, the icefishes' grit—as well as a little ecological serendipity—rescued them from their own bad blood. —Scientific American

Word Ingredients

-ity state or quality

Serendipity is the “state or quality of Serendip.” In the old Persian tale “The Three Princes of Serendip,” three heroes are described who make lucky discoveries.

Word Constellation