Browse Definitions :
Definition

serendipity

In general, serendipity is the act of finding something valuable or delightful when you are not looking for it. In information technology, serendipity often plays a part in the recognition of a new product need or in solving a design problem. Web surfing can be an occasion for serendipity since you sometimes come across a valuable or interesting site when you are looking for something else.

The term was coined by English writer Horace Walpole on January 28, 1754, in a letter written to Horace Mann. He credited it to a "silly fairy tale" he once read called 'The Three Princes of Serendip'.

According to the fairy tale, three Persian princes sailed off to make their fortunes in the "land of silk", an island called Serendip . (Today, the island is known as Sri Lanka.) Along the way, the princes made all types of wondrous and delightful discoveries about the island, and learned things they never expected. One such learning was purported to be the discovery that a mule blind in its right eye had recently traveled the same road. This was discovered when they noticed that the grass had been eaten only on the left side of the road.

The term is also sometimes used to mean "the randomness of fate," as in "whatever happens to cross my desk today."

This was last updated in December 2006

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

This is the best explanation of the term "serendipity" that I have ever come across in any dictionary or web-site.
Very well-explained.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • privacy compliance

    Privacy compliance is a company's accordance with established personal information protection guidelines, specifications or ...

  • data governance policy

    A data governance policy is a documented set of guidelines for ensuring that an organization's data and information assets are ...

SearchSecurity

  • asymmetric cryptography (public key cryptography)

    Asymmetric cryptography, also known as public-key cryptography, is a process that uses a pair of related keys -- one public key ...

  • Evil Corp

    Evil Corp is an international cybercrime network that uses malicious software to steal money from its victims' bank accounts.

  • Plundervolt

    Plundervolt is a method of hacking that involves depriving an Intel chip of power so that processing errors occur.

SearchHealthIT

  • telemedicine (telehealth)

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

  • Project Nightingale

    Project Nightingale is a controversial partnership between Google and Ascension, the second largest health system in the United ...

  • medical practice management (MPM) software

    Medical practice management (MPM) software is a collection of computerized services used by healthcare professionals and ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage...

  • RAID (redundant array of independent disks)

    RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a way of storing the same data in different places on multiple hard disks or ...

  • cache memory

    Cache memory, also called CPU memory, is high-speed static random access memory (SRAM) that a computer microprocessor can access ...

Close