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

Being able to drink the waters of the ocean could solve countless problems across the globe: shortages, droughts, and even the chance to lower rising ocean levels. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "We Might Finally Be Able to Safely Drink Salt Water," 8 May 2019 While the chances that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's child will ever sit on the throne are slim (Baby Sussex is seventh in line), Meghan and Harry are still so beloved across the globe. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "This Is How Much Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Little Archie Is Already Worth," 8 May 2019 May 2 is World Password Day, a chance for security companies to plead with lazy, careless humans to improve their password habits. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "5 alarming facts in honor of World Password Day," 2 May 2019 But northern white rhinos may get a second chance: Researchers hope to use modified in vitro fertilization to resurrect the subspecies. Ernie Mastroianni, Discover Magazine, "Discover's Images of the Year 2018," 20 Dec. 2018 There will be drinks, networking with other Recode fans, and the chance to meet Swisher herself. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg asked for George Soros research," 30 Nov. 2018 For one week a year, urban sprawl gets a chance to shine in all its tacky glory. Paul Newberry, The Seattle Times, "Outside Masters, Washington Road bustles in its tacky glory," 13 Apr. 2019 At a Senate hearing in February, CEOs of seven drugmakers took turns lambasting PBMs, and on Tuesday the benefits managers will get the chance to defend themselves. Allysia Finley, WSJ, "Trump’s Dubious Prescription-Price Plan," 5 Apr. 2019 The 5-4 directive, issued just before 3 a.m. Friday, overruled lower-court decisions and prompted a frustrated dissent from the liberal minority, which had asked for a chance to discuss the case at the court’s regular private meeting on Friday. ... Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Denies Reprieve to Alabama Death-Row Inmate," 12 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The lack of top level European competition could well put Brozović off joining the club, which would open the door to other potential suitors to chance their arm at luring in the midfielder with an offer. SI.com, "PL Clubs Handed Boost in Pursuit of Inter Midfielder as Player's Agent Claims Future Is Uncertain," 14 June 2018 If European nations provided more safe opportunities for migration, through temporary labor visas for example, migrants might be less willing to chance a sea crossing. Aryn Baker, Time, "How One Migrant Ship Became a Symptom of a Sick Europe," 12 June 2018 There is, however, that one potential game to chance all of that. Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle, "A look at the Rockets' potential first-round opponents," 10 Apr. 2018 The old rivals leave nothing to chance, especially now. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "Red Sox Fine-Tune Their Roster for a Visit With the Yankees," 29 June 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

17 May 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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