Let's say that the previous week I bumped into a lot of people I knew as a child. Each event was random, occurred independently of the other and all were unconnected except that each of the people involved knew each other at around the same time that I knew them.

Serendipity seems a bit too strong a word for this because I gained no fortune and there was no chain of dependence in the events. Coincidence doesn't really fit, either.

There must be a word for this - or a way to explain it concisely. What is it?

  • 3
    Why doesn't coincidence fit? – Daniel Oct 9 '11 at 18:20
  • It doesn't seem right. I'm a native English speaker and to me a coincidence would be bumping into the same person twice in different circumstances - this is a bit like a cluster coincidence. There must be a better word. – Matthew Oct 9 '11 at 18:27
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    I don't think there is a single word to describe this. Perhaps just a "series of coincidences"? – Jeremy Oct 9 '11 at 18:28
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    I think you just use the word too narrowly. An applicable definition of coincidence: a chance occurrence of events remarkable either for being simultaneous or for apparently being connected (via dictionary.com) – user13141 Oct 9 '11 at 18:35
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    Though if you're really opposed to it, you could always go with fluke. – user13141 Oct 9 '11 at 18:37

Synchronicity is the word you're looking for.


It certainly isn’t serendipity. If you want an alternative to coinicidence, you might think about fortuity, but a series of coincidences seems to describe the events adequately.

  • +1: I was going to answer fortuitous/fortuity. The only concern there, however, is that many people see fortu- and equate fortuitous with fortunate. – narx Oct 9 '11 at 23:12

Have you tried "Happenstance"?

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