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See also: Felicity



From Middle English felicite (bliss, happiness, joy; delight, pleasure; a source of happiness; good fortune; prosperity; well-being; of a planet: in an influential position) [and other forms],[1] borrowed from Old French felicité (modern French félicité (bliss, happiness; felicity)), from Latin fēlīcitātem, the accusative singular of fēlīcitās (fertility, fruitfulness; happiness, felicity; good fortune; success), from fēlix (happy; blessed, fortunate, lucky; fertile, fruitful; prosperous; auspicious, favourable) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeh₁(y)- (to nurse, suckle))[2] + -itās (a variant of -tās (suffix forming nouns indicating a state of being)).



felicity (countable and uncountable, plural felicities)

  1. (uncountable) Happiness; (countable) an instance of this.
    Antonym: infelicity
    • 1513, Henry Bradshaw, edited by Edward Hawkins, The Holy Lyfe and History of Saynt Werburge: Very Frutefull for All Christen People to Rede (Remains Historical & Literary Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester Published by The Chetham Society; volume XV), [] The Chetham Society, published 1848:
      Whan this ſayd monument diſcouered was / Suche a ſuauite and fragrant odoure / Aſcended from the corps by ſingular grace / Paſſyng all worldly ſwetnes and ſauour / That all there present that day and hour / Suppoſed they had ben / in the felicite / Of erthely paradiſe / without ambiguite.
    • 1719 May 6 (Gregorian calendar), [Daniel Defoe], The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, [], 3rd edition, London: [] W[illiam] Taylor [], published 1719, →OCLC, page 3:
      [T]he wiſe Man gave his Teſtimony to this, as the juſt Standard of true Felicity, when he prayed to have neither Poverty nor Riches.
    • 1814 July, [Jane Austen], chapter I, in Mansfield Park: [], volume I, London: [] T[homas] Egerton, [], →OCLC, page 2:
      [] Mr. and Mrs. Norris began their career of conjugal felicity with very little less than a thousand a year.
    • 1862, M[arcus] Aurelius Antoninus [i.e., Marcus Aurelius], “Book V”, in George Long, transl., The Thoughts of the Emperor M. Aurelius Antoninus, London: Bell and Daldy, [], →OCLC, page 66:
      For two reasons then it is right to be content with that which happens to thee; the one, because it was done for thee and prescribed for thee, and in a manner had reference to thee, originally from the most ancient causes spun with thy destiny; and the other, because even that which comes severally to every man is to the power which administers the universe a cause of felicity and perfection, nay even of its very continuance.
  2. (uncountable) An apt and pleasing style in speech, writing, etc.; (countable) an apt and pleasing choice of words.
  3. (uncountable, rare) Good luck; success; (countable) An instance of unexpected good luck; a stroke of luck; also, a lucky characteristic.
  4. (uncountable, semiotics) Reproduction of a sign with fidelity.
    The quotation was rendered with felicity.
  5. (countable) Something that is either a source of happiness or particularly apt.

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  1. ^ felicitẹ̄, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ felicity, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1895; “felicity, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

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