noun (rfd-redundant, Recombine all three senses)
- An unsought, unintended, or unexpected discovery, made by accident and sagacity.
- The discovery of something by accident while investigating something quite different. For example, finding a biological culture "ruined" by mould, and discovering the antibiotic penicillin as a consequence.
Translations: Etymology: Introduction into English attributed to Horace Walpole.
- Serendipity is when you find things you weren't looking for because finding what you are looking for is so damn difficult. "w:Erin McKean?, Erin McKean?, http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/161 speech at TED
- A fortunate occurrence created by unanticipated luck.
- "Call it a mid-life crisis; call it divine intervention or simply , but his employer, Matt Prentice, happened to know that at that moment over at the Scott Building there was a new kitchen just waiting for the right person to run it." —Detroit News, October 7, 2005
- The most random brought the two of us together, and now, we are happily married! If I was just 15 seconds slower, I'd have never met her!
- 1754 Horace Walpole, The Project Gutenberg Etext of The Letters of Horace Walpole, vol. 2, Letter 90, To Sir Horace Mann, Arlington Street, Jan. 28, 1754.:This discovery, indeed, is almost of that kind which I call Serendipity, a very expressive word, which, as I have nothing better to tell you, I shall endeavour to explain to you: you will understand it better by the derivation than by the definition. I once read a silly fairy tale, called "The Three Princes of Serendip;" as their Highnesses travelled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of: for instance, one of them discovered that a mule blind of the right eye had travelled the same road lately, because the grass was eaten only on the left side, where it was worse than on the right--now do you understand Serendipity? One of the most remarkable instances of this accidental Sagacity, (for you must observe that no discovery of a thing you are looking for comes under this description,) was of my Lord Shaftsbury, who, happening to dine at Lord Chancellor Clarendon's, found out the marriage of the Duke of York and Mrs. Hyde, by the respect with which her mother treated her at table.::See also Serendib
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