chance

noun
\ ˈchan(t)s How to pronounce chance (audio) \

Definition of chance

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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
4a : 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
5a : risk not taking any chances
b : a raffle ticket
by chance
: in the haphazard course of events they met by chance

chance

verb
chanced; chancing

Definition of chance (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : 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

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Other Words from chance

Noun

chance adjective

Synonyms for chance

Synonyms: Noun

accident, casualty [archaic], circumstance, hap, hazard, luck

Synonyms: Verb

adventure, gamble (on), hazard, risk, tempt, venture

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Examples of chance in a Sentence

Noun

This is the chance of a lifetime! Everyone deserves a fair chance of winning the award. If you give me a chance, I know I can do a good job. We didn't have much chance to talk about it. There's a good chance that we'll finish on time. If you are free tonight, is there any chance you could join me for dinner? Which cards you're given is simply a matter of chance.

Verb

He couldn't chance playing with a broken toe. I don't think we should chance driving in this snowstorm.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Timbers have historically prioritized MLS play over the U.S. Open Cup, often giving their younger players a chance to compete during U.S. Open Cup games. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive.com, "Portland Timbers prepare for rematch with LAFC in quarterfinals of U.S. Open Cup," 9 July 2019 Klotz said that the line of storms has since moved south of the metro area, and that clearing skies will give the area a chance to dry off as the day progress. Fox News, "Washington area hit by flash flooding, stranding drivers and soaking White House basement," 9 July 2019 These businesses have pledged to give you a chanceMetz was grateful for the legal shifts, but political momentum alone would not carry her through school. Casey Parks, USA Today, "'You don't know what you did for me': Released from prison by Obama, now on the dean's list," 8 July 2019 And without long-term data and observations of animals, researchers are still not sure whether the unusual behaviors relate to earthquakes or some other kind of chance in the animals' populations. Christina Maxouris, CNN, "No, California won't get tossed into the ocean by an earthquake -- and other myths debunked," 7 July 2019 Likelihood: The deal has apparently been brought back from the dead, so there's a sniff of a chance. SI.com, "Arsenal Targets: Comparing the Gunners' Rumoured Forward Options This Summer," 7 July 2019 Sure, businesses look at video games-of-chance as a way of boosting revenue by getting customers to spend more money on something else. Eric Scott, chicagotribune.com, "Column: “Vegasification” happening to local bars and restaurants, including in Buffalo Grove, as more video gaming terminals pop up," 7 July 2019 The Voting Rights Act requires that such districts give voters a fair chance at electing a representative of their choice. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "Citizenship question is already being asked by the Census Bureau’s ongoing American Community Survey," 6 July 2019 Matt Kaulig entered the event determined to field enough Chevrolets to give his team a chance to win. Jenna Fryer, orlandosentinel.com, "Ross Chastain leads Daytona Xfinity sweep for Kaulig Racing," 6 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

It was hailed as one of the most exciting archaeological finds in Britain in decades: an undisturbed Anglo-Saxon burial chamber chanced upon during a road widening project near Prittlewell, in Essex. Roff Smith, National Geographic, "New research questions famed burial of ‘first’ Christian Anglo-Saxon king," 8 May 2019 Leave nothing to chance or to someone else’s discretion. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, "Horoscopes: June 17, 2019," 17 June 2019 Among those thronging Tijuana were two strolling visitors who chanced upon the president’s speech. The Economist, "Mexico rejoices after averting Donald Trump’s tariffs threat," 9 June 2019 Rodriguez wasn't leaving anything to chance, though. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Alex Rodriguez Spent Three Days Rehearsing His Proposal to Jennifer Lopez," 17 Apr. 2019 Joe Buck wasn’t leaving the post-tournament kiss up to chance this time around. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Joe Buck didn't risk ruining Brooks Koepka's U.S. Open kiss after embarrassing 2017 blunder," 17 June 2018 Asked why the city decided to take legal action although the petition wasn't close to garnering the required number of signatures, Gates said officials weren't going to leave it to chance. Priscella Vega, latimes.com, "Free-speech complaint seeks dismissal of Huntington Beach's effort to stop local gun ban petition," 24 May 2018 Showers chances increase especially in the afternoon but are likely to very scattered. David Streit, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Seasonably warm today with a stray shower possible; more humid this weekend," 12 July 2018 An Outer Party member could reach the Inner Party by chancing into an early job at a lottery-ticket company (such as a Facebook or Google) or by becoming a successful entrepreneur. Antonio García Martínez, WIRED, "How Silicon Valley Fuels an Informal Caste System," 9 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of chance

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for chance

Noun and Verb

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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Learn More about chance

Dictionary Entries near chance

Chañabal

chanar

chanc

chance

chanceable

chance child

chanceful

Statistics for chance

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chance

The first known use of chance was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for chance

chance

noun

English Language Learners Definition of chance

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of chance (Entry 2 of 2)

: to accept the danger of (doing something)
formal used to describe something that happens because of luck or chance followed by to + verb

chance

noun
\ ˈchans How to pronounce chance (audio) \

Kids Definition of chance

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the happening of events that is not planned or controlled They met by chance.
2 : opportunity sense 1 I had a chance to travel.
3 : risk entry 1 sense 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.

chance

verb
chanced; chancing

Kids Definition of chance (Entry 2 of 3)

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.

chance

adjective

Kids Definition of chance (Entry 3 of 3)

: happening without being planned a chance meeting

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More from Merriam-Webster on chance

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chance

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chance

Spanish Central: Translation of chance

Nglish: Translation of chance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chance for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about chance

Comments on chance

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