Definitions for: Chance

[n] a risk involving danger; "you take a chance when you let her drive"
[n] a measure of how likely it is that some event will occur; "what is the probability of rain?"; "we have a good chance of winning"
[n] an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that causes an event to result one way rather than another; "bad luck caused his downfall"; "we ran into each other by pure chance"
[n] a possibility due to a favorable combination of circumstances; "the holiday gave us the opportunity to visit Washington"; "now is your chance"
[v] come upon, as if by accident; meet with; "We find this idea in Plato"; "I happened upon the most wonderful bakery not very far from here"; "She chanced upon an interesting book in the bookstore the other day"
[v] take a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome; "When you buy these stocks you are gambling"
[v] be the case by chance; "I chanced to meet my old friend in the street"

Webster (1913) Definition: Chance (ch[.a]ns), n. [F. chance, OF. cheance, fr. LL.
cadentia a allusion to the falling of the dice), fr. L.
cadere to fall; akin to Skr. [,c]ad to fall, L. cedere to
yield, E. cede. Cf. Cadence.]
1. A supposed material or psychical agent or mode of activity
other than a force, law, or purpose; fortune; fate; -- in
this sense often personified.

It is strictly and philosophically true in nature
and reason that there is no such thing as chance or
accident; it being evident that these words do not
signify anything really existing, anything that is
truly an agent or the cause of any event; but they
signify merely men's ignorance of the real and
immediate cause. --Samuel

Any society into which chance might throw him.

That power Which erring men call Chance. --Milton.

2. The operation or activity of such agent.

By chance a priest came down that way. --Luke x. 31.

3. The supposed effect of such an agent; something that
befalls, as the result of unknown or unconsidered forces;
the issue of uncertain conditions; an event not calculated
upon; an unexpected occurrence; a happening; accident;
fortuity; casualty.

It was a chance that happened to us. --1 Sam. vi.

The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts, And wins
(O shameful chance!) the Queen of Hearts. --Pope.

I spake of most disastrous chance. --Shak.

4. A possibility; a likelihood; an opportunity; -- with
reference to a doubtful result; as, a chance to escape; a
chance for life; the chances are all against him.

So weary with disasters, tugged with fortune. That I
would get my life on any chance, To mend it, or be
rid on 't --Shak.

5. (Math.) Probability.

Note: The mathematical expression, of a chance is the ratio
of frequency with which an event happens in the long
run. If an event may happen in a ways and may fail in b
ways, and each of these a + b ways is equally likely,
the chance, or probability, that the event will happen
is measured by the fraction a/a + b, and the chance, or
probability, that it will fail is measured by b/a + b.

Chance comer, one who comes unexpectedly.

The last chance, the sole remaining ground of hope.

The main chance, the chief opportunity; that upon which
reliance is had, esp. self-interest.

Theory of chances, Doctrine of chances (Math.), that
branch of mathematics which treats of the probability of
the occurrence of particular events, as the fall of dice
in given positions.

To mind one's chances, to take advantage of every
circumstance; to seize every opportunity.

Chance, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Chanced; p. pr. & vb. n.
To happen, come, or arrive, without design or expectation.
``Things that chance daily.'' --Robynson (More's Utopia).

If a bird's nest chance to be before thee. --Deut.
xxii. 6.

I chanced on this letter. --Shak.

Note: Often used impersonally; as, how chances it?

How chance, thou art returned so soon? --Shak.

Chance, v. t.
1. To take the chances of; to venture upon; -- usually with
it as object.

Come what will, I will chance it. --W. D.

2. To befall; to happen to. [Obs.] --W. Lambarde.

Chance, a.
Happening by chance; casual.

Chance, adv.
By chance; perchance. --Gray.

Synonyms: adventure, bump, encounter, find, fortune, gamble, happen, hazard, hazard, luck, opportunity, probability, risk, run a risk, take a chance, take chances

See Also: amount, assay, attempt, audience, bad luck, clean slate, come about, crack, cross section, danger, day, essay, even chance, fresh start, go on, hap, happen, hearing, hunting ground, joint probability, luck it, luck through, measure, mischance, mishap, occasion, occur, opening, pass, pass off, peril, phenomenon, possibility, possibleness, quantity, quantum, risk, room, say, seek, shot, street, tabula rasa, take place, throw, toss-up, try

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