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chance

noun \ ˈchan(t)s \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of chance

1 a :something that happens unpredictably without discernible human intention or observable cause
  • Which cards you are dealt is simply a matter of chance.
b :the assumed impersonal purposeless determiner of unaccountable happenings :luck
  • an outcome decided by chance
c :the fortuitous or incalculable element in existence :contingency
  • … you surely have endured strange chances
  • —Alfred Tennyson
2 :a situation favoring some purpose :opportunity
  • needed a chance to relax
3 :a fielding opportunity in baseball
4 a :the possibility of a particular outcome in an uncertain situation
  • What chance has he of pulling through?
; also :the degree of likelihood of such an outcome
  • a small chance of success
b chances plural :the more likely indications
  • chances are he's already gone
5 a :risk
  • not taking any chances
b :a raffle ticket

chance

adjective
by chance
:in the haphazard course of events
  • they met by chance

Examples of chance in a Sentence

  1. This is the chance of a lifetime!

  2. Everyone deserves a fair chance of winning the award.

  3. If you give me a chance, I know I can do a good job.

  4. We didn't have much chance to talk about it.

  5. There's a good chance that we'll finish on time.

  6. If you are free tonight, is there any chance you could join me for dinner?

  7. Which cards you're given is simply a matter of chance.

Recent Examples of chance from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of chance

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *cadentia fall, from Latin cadent-, cadens, present participle of cadere to fall; perhaps akin to Sanskrit śad- to fall off


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chance

verb

Definition of chance

chanced; chancing
intransitive verb
1 a :to take place, come about, or turn out by chance :happen
  • it chanced to rain that day
b :to have the good or bad luck
  • we chanced to meet
2 :to come or light by chance
  • they chanced upon a remote inn
transitive verb
1 :to leave the outcome of to chance
2 :to accept the hazard of :risk
  • knew the trip was dangerous but decided to chance it
chance one's arm
British :to take a risk

Examples of chance in a Sentence

  1. He couldn't chance playing with a broken toe.

  2. I don't think we should chance driving in this snowstorm.

Recent Examples of chance from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of chance


CHANCE Defined for English Language Learners

chance

noun

Definition of chance for English Language Learners

  • : an opportunity to do something : an amount of time or a situation in which something can be done

  • : the possibility that something will happen

  • : the way that events happen when they are not planned or controlled by people


chance

verb

Definition of chance for English Language Learners

  • : to accept the danger of (doing something)


CHANCE Defined for Kids

1

chance

noun \ ˈchans \

Definition of chance for Students

1 :the happening of events that is not planned or controlled
  • They met by chance.
2 :opportunity 1
  • I had a chance to travel.
3 :1risk 1, gamble
  • take chances
4 :the possibility that something will happen
  • There's a slight chance of rain.
5 :a ticket in a raffle
  • He bought five chances.

2

chance

verb

Definition of chance for Students

chanced; chancing
1 :to take place without planning :to happen by luck
  • “I merely chanced to overhear Mr. McGrath remark that he was starting it …”
  • —Robert Lawson, Rabbit Hill
2 :to find or meet unexpectedly
  • I chanced on a bargain.
3 :to accept the danger of :risk
  • He couldn't chance another injury.

3

chance

adjective

Definition of chance for Students

:happening without being planned
  • a chance meeting


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