Definition of


  1. (noun, state) a possibility due to a favorable combination of circumstances
    now is your chance
  2. (noun, phenomenon) an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that causes an event to result one way rather than another
    we ran into each other by pure chance
  3. (noun, act) a risk involving danger
  4. (noun, attribute) a measure of how likely it is that some event will occur; a number expressing the ratio of favorable cases to the whole number of cases possible
  5. (noun, state) the possibility of future success
  6. (verb, social) be the case by chance
  7. (verb, social) take a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome
  8. (verb, possession) come upon, as if by accident; meet with
    I happened upon the most wonderful bakery not very far from here
    She chanced upon an interesting book in the bookstore the other day
  9. (adj, all) occurring or appearing or singled out by chance
    a casual meeting
    a chance occurrence

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Chance

  1. c.1300, from O.Fr. cheance "accident, the falling of dice," from V.L. cadentia "that which falls out," from L. cadentem (nom. cadens), prp. of cadere "to fall" (see case (1)). Notions of "opportunity" and "randomness" are equally old in Eng. The verb meaning "to risk" is from 1859. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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