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], 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”)) + -itās (a variant of -tās (suffix forming nouns indicating a state of being)).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /fɪˈlɪsɪti/
- (General American) IPA(key): /fəˈlɪsəti/, [-ɾi]
Audio (GA) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɪsɪti
- Hyphenation: fe‧li‧ci‧ty
- (uncountable) Happiness; (countable) an instance of this.
- Antonym: infelicity
- 1719 April 25, [Daniel Defoe], The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, […], 3rd edition, London: […] W[illiam] Taylor […], published 1719, OCLC 838630407, 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.
- 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 1181454988, 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.
- (uncountable) An apt and pleasing style in speech, writing, etc.; (countable) an apt and pleasing choice of words.
- (uncountable, rare) Good luck; success; (countable) An instance of unexpected good luck; a stroke of luck; also, a lucky characteristic.
- (uncountable, semiotics) Reproduction of a sign with fidelity.
- The quotation was rendered with felicity.
- (countable) Something that is either a source of happiness or particularly apt.
- 2007 August 7, Joshua Ferris, “Table for two”, in The New York Times, New York, N.Y.: The New York Times Company, ISSN 0362-4331, OCLC 971436363, archived from the original on 25 December 2020:
- The season’s main attraction, the felicities of the sun, dimmed in the light of our competition and our growing friendliness.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.