late 14c., "having good fortune; bringing good fortune," from Latin fortunatus "prospered, prosperous; lucky, happy," past participle of fortunare "to make prosperous," from fortuna (see fortune). Fortunate Islands "mythical abode of the blessed dead, in the Western Ocean" (early 15c.; late 14c. as Ilondes of fortune) translates Latin Fortunatae Insulae.
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