chance upon

idiom

variants or less commonly chance on
formal
: to find (something) or meet (someone) by chance
She chanced upon an original copy of the book in her grandfather's attic.
I chanced on an article in the paper about that just the other day.
I was shopping in a rare book store when I chanced on a friend I had not seen in years.

Examples of chance upon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This moth group includes the largest species in North America and are ever-popular with the lucky people that chance upon them because of their beautiful wing patterns, fuzzy faces, and enormous caterpillars. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 6 Apr. 2023 Most deadheads have small to medium-size racks, but each year a few people chance upon a monster. Michael Hanback, Outdoor Life, 24 Jan. 2023 The ping-pong-ball-size frogs, which are native to a mountainous strip in northern Colombia, spend most of their days milling about the region’s burbling brooks, hoping to chance upon a mate. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 14 Mar. 2022 One approach is founded on the hope that perhaps astronomers will get lucky and chance upon an alien radio broadcast. Stephon Alexander, Wired, 31 Aug. 2021 This is overwhelmingly true for Hindus who comprise a majority of Indians and may therefore chance upon more fellow Hindus. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 29 June 2021 The Bavarians created chance upon chance and would finish the game with an xG of 4-1. Manuel Veth, Forbes, 7 Apr. 2021 The unfortunate bear in question happened to chance upon 40 containers of cocaine and died of an overdose. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 10 Mar. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chance upon.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near chance upon

Cite this Entry

“Chance upon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chance%20upon. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!