- 3.235.11.178

Chance n.

1. A supposed material or psychical agent or mode of activity other than a force, law, or purpose; fortune; fate; -- in this sense often personified.

*It is strictly and philosophically true in nature and reason that there is no such thing as chance or accident; it being evident that these words do not signify anything really existing, anything that is truly an agent or the cause of any event; but they signify merely men's ignorance of the real and immediate cause.* --*Samuel Clark.*

*Any society into which chance might throw him.* --*Macaulay.*

That power

Which erring men call Chance. --*Milton.*

2. The operation or activity of such agent.

*By chance a priest came down that way.* --*Luke x. 31.*

3. The supposed effect of such an agent; something that befalls, as the result of unknown or unconsidered forces; the issue of uncertain conditions; an event not calculated upon; an unexpected occurrence; a happening; accident; fortuity; casualty.

*It was a chance that happened to us.* --*1 Sam. vi. 9.*

The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts,

And wins (O shameful chance!) the Queen of Hearts. --*Pope.*

*I spake of most disastrous chance.* --*Shak.*

4. A possibility; a likelihood; an opportunity; -- with reference to a doubtful result; as, a chance to escape; a chance for life; the chances are all against him.

So weary with disasters, tugged with fortune.

That I would get my life on any chance,

To mend it, or be rid on 't --*Shak.*

5. Math. Probability.

Note: ☞ The mathematical expression, of a __chance__ is the ratio of frequency with which an event happens in the long run. If an event may happen in __a__ ways and may fail in __b__ ways, and each of these __a__ + __b__ ways is equally likely, the __chance__, or probability, that the event will happen is measured by the fraction a/a + b, and the __chance__, or probability, that it will fail is measured by b/a + b.

**Chance comer**, one who comes unexpectedly.

**The last chance**, the sole remaining ground of hope.

**The main chance**, the chief opportunity; that upon which reliance is had, esp. self-interest.

**Theory of chances**, **Doctrine of chances** Math., that branch of mathematics which treats of the probability of the occurrence of particular events, as the fall of dice in given positions.

**To mind one's chances**, to take advantage of every circumstance; to seize every opportunity.