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

Winners of the national awards also will have the chance to compete against international winners for awards including World’s Best Bar and World’s Best Cocktail Menu. Lauren Saria, azcentral, "These Phoenix cocktail bars might be some of the best in the country. Here's why," 10 June 2019 There weren’t a lot of chances (Fatjon Çollari made one brilliant save in the Chameria goal), and there weren’t...any goals. SI.com, "​South Ossetia: How CONIFA European Football Cup Finalists Went From Violence to Victory," 8 June 2019 House Democrats and seven Republicans just passed a good bill, now Republicans in the Senate have a chance to do the right thing. The Denver Post Editorial Board, The Denver Post, "Editorial: Colorado’s freshmen congressman, Joe Neguse, stands for Dreamers," 8 June 2019 Mike Cronk had a chance to run as gunfire rained down during the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival massacre in Las Vegas. The Christian Science Monitor, "Enjoying more than just the game," 7 June 2019 This meant that his fund did not resemble the conventional market, and thus had the chance to outperform. The Economist, "Troubles at the Woodford investment group point to a wider trend," 6 June 2019 Blewett, who bettered Kingston by seven percentage points, will have another chance to unseat the three-term incumbent in Saturday's runoff. Corbett Smith, Dallas News, "Fight intensifies in second round of East Dallas City Council race between David Blewett, Philip Kingston," 6 June 2019 But once dad has had a chance to explore its capabilities, he’ll be hooked. Chris Morris, Fortune, "6 Great Gifts Ideas for Dad on Father's Day," 5 June 2019 Both teams had plenty of chances earlier, but couldn’t come up with the key hit at the right time. Rick Armstrong, Aurora Beacon-News, "Armstrong: Tom Babyar almost quit after his first year at York. This year, he led Aurora Central Catholic to a sectional title," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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

14 Jun 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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